Sean Collins

sean [at] seanmcollins [dot] com

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sean [at] coreitpro [dot] com

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profile for Sean at Stack Overflow, Q&A for professional and enthusiast programmers

GNU vs BSD Licenses

I like the BSD licenses because they are incredibly permissive, but I think that without the GPL the whole open source phenomenon never would have happened. Look at BSD - Sun took the 4.4 source and built Solaris - and then never bothered to contribute back!

We need a license that protects our rights and prevents companies from just taking code, incorporating it into a product, and never sharing any improvements with everyone else.

But it’s not to say that all software should be GPLv3, it’s just that the GPLv3 sets a boundary and enforces some ground-rules.

So, the BSD licensed stuff also gets a boost, since a company will take one look at the GPL and say “No way!”, turn to a BSD licensed project, and use it. But instead of just taking it and never contributing back, they are more likely to contribute back because the GPL has helped instill that kind of behavior.

That’s my take, at least.

So yeah, RMS is a wacko - but I can’t argue with the results! Just look at IBM funding Linux development!