bsd vs gpl

Nathan Lay nslay at
Thu Mar 12 21:28:50 PDT 2009

Polytropon wrote:
> 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. :-)

Often overlooked, but the open nature of the BSD license and similar 
contribute to the adoption and widespread use technology by industry. I 
wager that if software like Xorg, the BSD IP stack, and etc... were 
licensed under GPL or similar restrictive licenses, these technologies 
might not have lasted. Open (in the BSDL sense) technology seems to do 
better in the long run... Ironic?

Best Regards,
Nathan Lay

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