I would hate the idea of developing a product in the open, and then seeing a third party come along, take the source code, and sell the product as a proprietary app. I don’t care what you call that, I call it stealing.
For one, the original development - all that free and open hard work - was so that a third party could take that development after doing no hard work at all, and then make money off of it. And where does that leave the original app? Essentially, dead.
Of course, this really only applies to smaller developments; large developments that are generally larger than the manpower of a third party corporation often continue to receive support from their proprietary thief, simply because it is easier to allow the open community to do the work for you.
But for small projects - perhaps even start ups - if you catch them at the right time, you can render that project useless while you walk off with a new ‘revolutionary’ product ‘developed exclusively by X’, selling at $99.99. Excuse my lack of professionalism, indeed for the entirety of this article, but that is just absolute crap.
It happened when Mac OS X took the TCP/IP stack from the FreeBSD project, and this was perhaps one of the greatest advancements in networking, all developed in the open. But the majority of people haven’t even heard of FreeBSD.
This is why I prefer the GPL. It is less free than the BSD licenses, but it guarantees that your work will be developed openly and freely, just as it has been developed under your control.
If something is going to be developed in the open, I think the extent of that freedom is the limits of the GPL. It ensures that your project, worked on by volunteers day in and day out, will not be destroyed in one fell swoop of a corporation’s hand.
Anything I develop goes under the GPL. I once considered the BSD license - and do not get me wrong, it is sometimes a much better choice compared to the GPL, such as in the Clang/LLVM compiler - but for user-facing applications, the GPL is better suited and much more protective of the developers and their code.
One one hand, we have limitless freedom with BSD licenses, but at the same time it allows anybody to steal that source code without even mentioning the developments of the base project. On the other hand we have the GPL, which claims to be free but is in fact a copyleft license, not allowing any closed-source redistributions or modifications of the product.
For me? I would look no further than the GPL.