Pros and Cons of GPL licenese

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GPL is widely used and known license in Open Source community. Richard Stallman father of GNU is the man behind GPL. GPL gives freedom and not free software.

Pros:
  1. It is first Copyleft license created for the open source community.
  2. Open source product itself will tempt the users to try and use it. Open Source Business Model wants people to use the product but pay for the commercial license or support. GPL will clearly help. MySQL is a good example, It is widely used but commercial products has to pay for the enterprise edition.
Cons:
  1. If GPL licensed product is used in any commercial product then the entire product has to be released as open source. Most of the companies set a ban to use GPL product.
  2. As per the clause "the derivative work should also be released as open source", If your project contains a component that contains a component that contains a component that is under the GPL then your entire project has to be released under open source.
GPL is good for product owners but may not for users. Small and Medium business owners or startup companies anyways can't use this as they can not afford it. It is just like a knife, you need to use it without getting hurt.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_General_Public_License

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