Monday, April 09, 2007

BSD vs GPL licences

James Dumay writes about Theo's latest flame-war.

One interesting part of the debate was Theo's response to this comment:
> We can dual license our code though and that is an
> acceptable license for Linux, the kernel.

We? Sure, you can. But Reyk will not dual license his code, and most of the other people in the BSD community won't either, because then they receive the occasional patch from a GPL-believer which is ONLY under the GPL license, and then they are no less screwed than they would be from the code granted totally freely to companies.

The difference of course is that when you give code to companies under the BSD license you will never know what is done to it, but GPL-only patches can still be used as inspiration for new code development. Sure GPL-only code can't be copied into BSD-only code, but once you know where the bugs are they are easy to fix.

Towards the end of the debate Theo asks the following question:
David, if you found a piece of your code in some other tree, under a different license, would your first point of engatement be a public or private mail?

I can't speak for David, but after reading the discussion I would probably start by blogging about such an issue.

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