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Re: BSD camp hostility

On Tue, Jul 03, 2001 at 12:08:06AM +0000, Ken Seefried wrote:
> Nathan Myers writes:
> > When discussing Debian/BSD with BSD adherents, I encountered
> > a current of hostility.  
> And vice versa...I catch far, far more flack for talking about BSD 
> from Linux folks than talking about Linux with BSD folks.  Orders
> of magnitude. 

You must be talking to people who don't code.  All the Linux 
developers I know speak respectfully of BSD even when they are
laughing at the petty spitefulness of its more batshit adherents.

> > I traced the hostility to a misconception on their part:
> > They think we want to relicense their stuff under the GPL.
> Even if you wanted to, you can't.  You aren't the holders of the license. 
> This should be made clear to the other side of the fence, especially 
> those who have, shall we say, fanatical devotion to the GPL.  You 
> cannot take a BSD licensed program, slap a GPL license on it, and 
> expect it to hold unless the original license holder consents.  Nor 
> can you modify it and slap a GPL on it.  The rights of the original 
> author must be repected.  This is why GNU had to reimpliment everything. 

That is completely, 100% totally false.  This is not a matter of
opinion; your facts are just wrong, and you disparage yourself 
by repeating them.

First, GNU was started in 1984, long before the Bell code had been freed.
If BSD had been Free at that time, the GNU project would have adopted it
wholesale, just as it adopted X wholesale.

The right to re-license -- to make proprietary -- is practically the 
essence of the BSD license.  Microsoft did it, Apple did it, anybody 
can do it.  For some reason the BSD crowd boasts about that at the 
same time as they heap scorn on anybody who proposes to re-license 
with a less proprietary license than Microsoft's.

(To be precise, one can make proprietary changes and place the whole 
result under the new license, remembering only to retain the old 
copyright notices.)
> > An official announcement that we have no intention of relicensing 
> > any BSD packages would go a long way toward relaxing any latent 
> > hostility, and might make active cooperation (e.g. upstream
> > patches) more conceivable.
> That's optimistic.  I suspect the hostility on both sides stems from far 
> more fundamental issues than this. 

Nobody said that it was the only source of hostility.  Another reason
is that many of the BSD crowd are batshit wacko.  But there's nothing 
to be done about that, and anyway not all of them are.  

Nathan Myers

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