GPL vs. BSD licensing

Usual discussion came up about why’d governments should pick the BSD styled licensing scheme, over the GPL. I’m going with the GPL/LGPL, as the BSD styled licensing allows folk to take away code, make it proprietary, and probably never push updates out again – bad, bad. If Linksys didn’t use the GPL, we won’t have disruptive technology – a lot more of these devices exist, nowadays with phones, and more. Some interesting picks:

  • Opinion: License to FUD – “While using the GPL won’t prevent competitors from using the code, it does keep them from making proprietary extensions.” Later on, when they talk about MS’s Kerberos implementation, its a valid point that gave the Samba team grief.
  • GPL or BSD? Yes LG #75 – “GPL promotes freedom for the end-user; BSD promotes freedom for the programmer.” I like that it makes certain there’s no “better” license; also point to note that why would you work so hard to make someone else a millionaire? (Look at Microsoft’s stealing of the BSD TCP/IP stack). Kerberos is mentioned, in greater detail here.
  • Make Your Open Source Software GPL-Compatible. Or Else. – good reading in general, to tell you why you’d use a GPL-compatible based license.
  • The Role of Community in Free Software – “Developers who use the GPL are saying, in the clearest possible way, that their motives are not selfish, that they can be trusted to participate in the community without holding something back for themselves.”
  • Social aspects of the BSD vs. GPL debate – a must read. Plenty of resources, great for the bookmarks on this topic.

Yes, the freedom of the community is a lot more important, I would think. Weak licensing doesn’t propogate the access regime.

Related posts:

  1. Immediate thoughts on Business Source Licensing
  2. Open Service Tag, released under GPLv3
  3. Ten Ways to Destroy Your Community
  4. Miguel de Icaza from Mono on Moonlight
  5. iPod

i