"In last week's column, I asked why BSD-licensed
operating systems didn't seem to be attracting as many corporate
supporters and programmers as the GNU GPL-based Linux. Why does it
appear that so many of the new and most actively developed
open-source projects these days are being done under the GNU
license, rather than the BSD one which proponents say is more
I found answers in many places: ZDNet Talkbacks attached to the
column, private e-mail, as well as BSD and Linux discussion areas.
It seems that what motivates an open source programmer to choose
one approach over another may have more to do with fear and
mistrust than with freedom.
By far the majority of replies and comments came from people who
preferred the GPL. These people explained that developers consider
the GPL to be in their interest, even though the GPL forces them
(and subsequent developers) to publish any updates or
modifications. But there were certainly many people offering the
BSD point of view, maintaining that their approach was indeed
better for businesses, pointing out how companies such as Apple and
Microsoft benefited their users by incorporating BSD-licensed
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