Licensing/Structure

Mark Stone mstone at valinux.com
Tue Sep 5 14:07:33 PDT 2000


On Tue, 5 Sep 2000, Gerard Beekmans wrote:

> > Here's the licensing grid I'd recommend depending on your answers:
> >
> >                Worried about hijacking   |   Not worried about hijacking
> > Building from
> > source only          GPL, LGPL or MPL                BSD
> >
> > Allow build from
> > some binaries        LGPL or MPL                     BSD
> 
> I guess I just don't understand the difference between *GPL and BSD licenses. 
> What do you mean by hijacking in this context (i read about turning it into 
> some proprietary form). I thought GPL wouldn't project against those things 
> and BSD being more strict would protect against it?
> 
> Got a site where I can read the full GPL and BSD licenses? I think I've had 
> the wrong picture of GPL and BSD all along. I better set that straight now 
> before we go anywhere else
> 
GPL is more restrictive than BSD. "Hijacking" is the bogeyman that Richard
Stallman tries to scare open source developers with: the notion that
someone could take open source code, modify and improve it without giving
back the changes, and use the resulting improved proprietary version to
eliminate the demand for the open source version. 

As far as I'm concerned, Stallman is just being paranoid. The only case I
know of that even remotely approximates this kind of hijacking is Windows
NT Name Service, which is a straight rip-off of Bind. Since NT does Bind
worse than Bind, I can't see that Bind has been hurt. Since NT has to
acknowledge where it got the code from, this helps spread the word about
Bind. The end result is that if anything, the proprietary clone is
helping, not hurting, the demand for the the open source version.

So I generally figure go BSD and be done with it. Keep life simple. 

You can find all the licenses at opensource.org.
You can find the BSD license at
http://www.opensource.org/licenses/bsd-license.html
You can find the GPL at
http://www.opensource.org/licenses/gpl-license.html
You can find the LGPL at
http://www.opensource.org/licenses/lgpl-license.html


Mark

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 Mark Stone                                            O | S | D | N
 mstone at valinux.com                  Open Source Development Network
 (408)542-5745                        Director of Developer Services







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