GPL-vs-BSD Holy War (was: [K12OSN] Scary article from Russia (w/o love))

Terrell Prude' Jr. microman at
Wed May 20 17:05:21 UTC 2009

Folks, this does not need to become yet another GPL-vs-BSD holy war, and 
I see that coming.  Let's keep it to K12.


Les Mikesell wrote:
> David L. Willson wrote:
>> Which part of this system do you disagree with?
> The part that misrepresents GPL software as 'free' when in fact it is 
> very restricted in terms of how it can be improved.
>> There are lots of other licenses for authors to choose, many of which 
>> do not include preservation of freedom as a term of use.
> Yes, other licenses do not misrepresent restrictions as freedom.
>> The GPL is not a mandate, it's something that makers of Free software 
>> choose to use to protect their work.
> And it makes sense if your intent is to prevent improvements that 
> compete with your own offering.  But restricting improvements has and 
> continues to hurt everyone else.
>> Authors have the right to choose the license that best protects their 
>> work and reflects their social values.  Would you deny that right?
> Of course license restrictions should be up to the authors within the 
> constraints that copyright and patent laws apply.  But those 
> restrictions don't have to be misrepresented as freedom when in fact 
> they are just restrictions.
>> Do you make software?
> I tried to give some away once, but was prevented from sharing it 
> because it included a GPL component and also needed other libraries 
> that were redistributable at no cost but under terms that did not 
> match the GPL restrictions.   But, I'm more interested in using 
> software than making or distributing it.
>> Finally, as a user, if you disagree principally with the GPL, you can 
>> choose to use BSD, or another, more liberally licensed kernel.
> Or, you can simply be forced to continue to support the proprietary 
> monopoly business because the GPL restrictions prevent covered works 
> from being improved to a point where they are competitive.  Like 95% 
> or so of the population does...  I'm seriously convinced that Richard 
> Stallman has done more to keep Microsoft rich than anyone else.  Look, 
> for example at the effort he made to hold java development back while 
> MS has advanced .net.
>> The wonderful thing about this sector is it's Freedom.  Freedom to 
>> choose, in this case.
> With the GPL, only one person actually gets the freedom to choose. 
> Everyone else has to follow its restrictions which prevent any other 
> choices.  Note the contrast with commercial licenses which allow you 
> to choose components individually and combine as you like as long as 
> you individually meet their terms.

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