[time-nuts] Open source

Poul-Henning Kamp phk at phk.freebsd.dk
Sat Dec 8 08:36:08 UTC 2012

In message <CABbxVHuJtsD4BtDQ7Dbm88-gFuv9kbesR5_jOvaEUBVrJNChYQ at mail.gmail.com>, Chris Albertson writes:

>Many authors  ike GPL because they figure "I wrote this and I'm giving this
>away for free, I don't want some other guy to take it, change the title and
>claim it as his own work and charge money for it."

> BSD on the other hand allows it  The University of Califoornia used BSD
>because their goal was to get the technology out into the world and
>allowing someone to make money is a good way to do that.

The BSD license does not allow you to "claim it is yours", in fact,
no license is needed to preserve that right, as the Berne Convention
and all copyright laws I know about, protects the "creators ideal
rights" (= the right to be known as the creator) by default.

In practice there are a few other wrinkles between GPL and BSD.

In particular the GPL code can "taint" your own code if you get them
too close together, so that you can be forced to release your own
code as GPL, simply by using a GPL submodule.  (This is why some
license-fanatics call the GPL "a viral license")

And one other detail most people overlook, is that the default GPL text
gives any users the right to use any later version of the GPL license
instead of the one you copy&pasted.  This has only happened once but
it had ground-shaking repercussions through out the industry.

As for the economy, as an open source author, my experience is that
there is more money to be made with the BSD license than with the
GPL license, simply because the companies which might be willing
to pay, also like the extra freedom of the BSD license.

And as was said, there is a ton of other OSS-licenses out there,
you can see a sort of a list here:


my own contribution to the area, was used on a piece of code I
wrote, which during its most popular use-period, protected upwards
of 50% of all passwords on the internet:


Poul-Henning Kamp       | UNIX since Zilog Zeus 3.20
phk at FreeBSD.ORG         | TCP/IP since RFC 956
FreeBSD committer       | BSD since 4.3-tahoe    
Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by incompetence.

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