Sean’s Obsessions

Sean Walberg’s blog


This article on Slashdot deals with Intel and Red Hat making some modifications to their licencing in order to be able to cooperate.

Basically, Intel had some code that they wanted to be able to distribute without the requirements of GPL. Red Hat didn’t like it. They comprimised on the BSD licence.

I agree with this decision – While I am a user of, and enjoy the work the GPL project has done, I also prefer the BSD licence. Theo de Raadt puts it best:

In the BSD world, we believe in making available trap-less software which anyone can use for any purpose. Even if they wanted to put our operating system into baby mulching machines or cruise missiles. We expose no ethic except our own of transitive freedom in sharing. We make no demands except credit.

I find the GPL too strict. As a developer (a poor one, but a developer none the less), I’d prefer that my code get used over anything else. “Do what you want with it, just don’t say you wrote it”. Even Microsoft has made use of BSD code, such as zlib, and quite possibly parts of the {*BSD,Linux} socket libraries. The GPL, while perfect for keeping code open, doesn’t do much to promote its use. BSD, on the other hand, fits better with commercial software and open software alike.


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