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Re: Debian GNU/FreeBSD

<amk7763@rit.edu> wrote:

> 	After that whole FreeBSD thing, I was left wondering. If commercial
> companies can take the BSD licensed code and sell it under a
> commercial license, what is to prevent us from taking the FreeBSD kernel
> and distribute it under a GPLish license?

Apparently largish chunks of FreeBSD are under the original UCB license
which specifies an advertising clause. From what I hear, RMS has
pronounced this clause to be incompatible with the GPL.

Other than that, politeness, I would suggest. If your idea were
realized, some BSD people would go ballistic. The relationship between
the Linux and BSD camps, which is so far mostly characterized by mutual
polite desinterest, would turn into a bloodbath all over the net.

> That would solve the whole problem of companies taking advantage of
> our work.

Interestingly enough, the BSD people don't feel that they are taken
advantage of. Experience with companies donating their work back is
quite positive. Bizarrely enough, the only instance where the BSD folks
*do* feel that they are taken advantage of in the most unfair fashion is
exactly your suggestion: the relicensing of BSD code under the GPL.
(Which, due to the viral character of the GPL, means that any derived
works are forever tainted and cannot be donated back to the BSD
project.) This keeps happening with alarming frequency. Some have gone
so far as to point to GNU/GPL as The Enemy.

For GNU people, placing something under the GPL is a noble act of
protecting software and making it free. For BSD people, to see their
code relicensed under the GPL is just the wholesale exploitation GNU
pretents to prevent, the taking of their work and making its derivatives
eternally non-free. While you might disagree, you might consider
*tolerating* their view.

Christian "naddy" Weisgerber                  naddy@mips.rhein-neckar.de
    100+ SF Book Reviews: <URL:http://home.pages.de/~naddy/reviews/>

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