Good resources for BSDL vs. GPL?

Jared Barneck rhyous at
Mon Jun 4 01:01:46 UTC 2012

I helped out with licensing at my last company and I wrote this, mostly for the table it contains. 

Jared Barneck

 From: Chad Perrin <perrin at>
To: Doug Barton <dougb at> 
Cc: freebsd-advocacy at 
Sent: Sunday, June 3, 2012 11:25 AM
Subject: Re: Good resources for BSDL vs. GPL?
On Sat, Jun 02, 2012 at 06:12:56PM -0700, Doug Barton wrote:
> Does anyone have a good resource for an objective discussion of GPL vs.
> BSDL? The upstream for one of the ports I maintain is considering
> switching licenses, and I'd like to present some non-inflammatory facts
> for him to consider.
> Please cc me on replies, since I'm not subscribed to this list.

I think you may find it difficult to track down resources that appear
entirely nonpartisan *and* do not present inaccurate views of how
software licensing works.  There is a fair bit of misunderstanding on the
issue in the world.  Those who actually know a fair bit about the matter
tend to have gotten to that point because of an intense interest
motivated by a distinct preference for one or the other.

That having been said, I'll direct you to some resources I think are
convincing as counterpoints to common "wisdom", explaining some instances
where reality diverges from what a lot of people believe they know about
how open source licensing works, particularly on the matter of copyfree
licenses (such as the various BSD licenses) versus copyleft licenses
(such as the various GNU licenses).

The following list (presented in alphabetical order) is long.  I'm afraid
the vagueness of the specific conditions of your need for such references
makes it difficult for me to narrow down the list items to the most
relevant.  I hope this helps.  If you have concerns not addressed in this
list, let me know and I'll see if I can dig something up or otherwise
help out.

    Advancement Through License Simplicity
    (relevant to technical and social benefits of permissive licensing)

    Advocacy's Fifth Column
    (relevant to advocacy effectiveness)

    BSD/Copyfree vs. Corporate Copyleft

    BSD License Vs. Copyright Assignment

    Choose The Right Licensing Model For Security Software
    (relevant to technical and social benefits of permissive licensing)

    Code Reuse and Technological Advancement
    (relevant to technical and social benefits of permissive licensing)

    Copyfree Initiative

    Copyfree Is Not The New Copyleft.

    Copyfree vs Copyleft

    GNU/Linux vs. Open Source Software

    GPL vs BSD

    Legal Considerations When Using Free Software In IT Consulting Projects

    MEPIS GPL Compliance FAQ
    (relevant to the unintended consequences of the GPL)

    MS: Freedom Is Slavery; FSF: Slavery Is Freedom

    Promote Openness: Custom Applications And Standardized Formats
    (relevant to promoting open data formats)

    RMS And The FSF: One Map, One Flashlight, No Ass In Sight

    The Economic Case Against the GPL

    The Problem With GPL Thinking

    Why Copyfree

    Why We Should Allow DRM On Open Source Platforms
    (relevant to licenses that allow vs. disallow DRM)

    Why You Should Use A BSD Style License For Your Open Source Project

In the case of older articles, many links may be broken due to
reorganizing at the target sites and other changes that could have
resulted in target articles being moved or deleted.

Full Disclosure: I wrote a lot of the articles listed above (though not
all of them).

Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: ]
freebsd-advocacy at mailing list
To unsubscribe, send any mail to "freebsd-advocacy-unsubscribe at"

More information about the freebsd-advocacy mailing list