I love the GNU Lesser GPL (LGPL). Actually, I love the fact that FSF has offered the choice of two licenses: GPL and LGPL.
They are both full free software licenses, with the difference being the strength of its copyleft protection. Business-wise the LGPL offers a tactical weapon to companies like Engineering, developer of the business intelligence suite SpagoBI (LGPL-ed) to compete on the market.
To understand the tactical value of the LGPL I quote Richard Stallman’s words:
Using the ordinary GPL is not advantageous for every [circumstance]. There
are reasons that can make it better to use the Lesser GPL in certain
cases. […][When] the library cannot give free software any
particular advantage, […] it is better to use the Lesser GPL for that
And it’s always worth remembering that FSF has adopted the LGPL with a tactical move itself:
This is why we used the Lesser GPL for the GNU C library. After all,
there are plenty of other C libraries.
Does it make sense to use LGPL for Business Intelligence suites like SpagoBI? I think so, and mostly it depends on the business model that the company is using. I think that the important discriminator for a real Free Software Business is not the license it choses or its business model, but its ethical stance for freedom in the digital society.