bsd vs gpl

Polytropon freebsd at
Wed Mar 11 07:46:35 PDT 2009

On Wed, 11 Mar 2009 09:02:47 -0500, David Kelly <dkelly at> wrote:
> The source code is always free under BSD, contrary to what GPL
> proponents claim.

Terms like "enslavement of code" come into mind, "BSD thieves"
and others...

But this isn't only the case with BSDL. The MIT uses a similar
license for X, as far as I know, and Apache does it as well.

> Just that under BSD you are free to keep ownership of
> your own work.

The BSDL doesn't change anything related to copyright (which is
on the side of the coders).

> GPL states that if you make changes those changes must be made available
> under the same terms as the original source code. Yet somehow darlings
> of the GPL world such as Red Hat, MySQL, and others, skirt around that
> onerous requirement.

That's why the GPL is often called a "viral license". As
far as I know, not only using GPL code, also linking against
a GPL library would require to put the initial work under GPL.

I'd like to make an addition:

The freedom of the BSDL intentionally allows to close sources.
This can be considered theft, if one would like to use this
interpretation. When taking some BSDL code, there's no need
to contribute anything back.

One argument could be that the money or hardware given to the
FreeBSD developers is "abused" by those who "silently" take
advantage of their work.

But finally, it's always the developer who decides what to do
with his own work. If he intends to allow others to make money
from his code without giving anything back, it's his choice to
do so. If a supporter doesn't like this decision, he should
think about his support.

Closing code doesn't make the code disappear which it is based
upon, so code doesn't get "unfree".

I know, this can lead into an endless discussion. It has already
taken place on other platforms, such as here:

Forgive me my comment. :-)

>From Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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