When most people think of the GPL, if they think of it at all, they tend to think of Linux and perhaps other operating systems. However, there are many benefits to using the GPL for programs on a smaller level. For example there is a Go Application in Facebook. This programmer could have gone through the near impossible headache of creating an implementation of Go.
However, as Wikipedia mentions, it is very tough to create sofware to play go, “While the strongest computer chess software has defeated top players (Deep Blue beat the world champion in 1997), the best Go programs only manage to reach an average amateur level.” This has to do with the high complexity level of the game’s strategy.
But someone has already created a game to play Go, called GNUGo. Since GNUGo is licensed under the GPL, the developer of the Go Application for Facebook is able to use the work which has already been done instead of having to replicate it. So in addition to the ethical/moral reason for licensing software under the GPL you can also add efficiency. It’s not efficient for people have to reimplement software just so they can mash it up with some new technology.
Blogged with Flock