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NewsForge: The real difference between Linux and freeBSD - a licensing primer

Oct 18, 2000, 17:54 (17 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tina Gasperson)

[ Thanks to Tina Gasperson for this link. ]

"...while all these differences have been the subject of debate, none cuts to the heart of the perceived gap between BSD and Linux like the issue of licensing differences. "The various free BSDs are under the BSD license, which allows someone to take the code private," says Bruce Perens, primary author of "The Open Source Definition," and a founder of the Open Source Initiative. The BSD license allows developers to modify the source code of software, in much the same way as the General Public License (GPL)."

"But unlike the GPL, the BSD license also allows developers to create proprietary software from modified code, without giving those modifications back as Open Source. That causes some consternation among many in the Open Source community, including Perens."

"By contrast, anything created with GPL code remains Open Source. The software can be sold, but the source code must be included, for free. "The GPL requires that everyone in the market play by the same rules," says Jay Sulzberger, secretary of LXNY, New York's free software support organization. BSD advocates put it another way, claiming that the GPL tries to force everyone to live by its tenets."

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