For Approval: Open Source Software Alliance License

Sean Chittenden sean at
Sat Sep 27 07:03:00 UTC 2003

> > Why does everyone insist that they're protecting my interests by
> > likening a piece of BSD code that goes closed source as a bad
> > thing or as if it's not what I want?  That is precisely what I
> > want people to be able to do!  That's a smart business for reusing
> > someone else's wheel design, kinda like a dated patent.  The GPL
> > is like the perpetual patent though, it never expires and becomes
> > usable to other businesses.  *shudder*
> (Note that this is in the same reply where you promised to stop
> using the word ``business.'')
> I'm not saying that incorporating BSD code into a proprietary
> product is a bad thing, or that it is not what you want.
> What I'm trying to understand is why you say that incorporating BSD
> code in a proprietary product is a good thing and simulataneously
> say that incorporating BSD code in a GPL product is a bad thing.

Changes made to the BSD code by the authors of the GPL product are
changes that are available only under the GPL.

> GPL code is nothing like a perpetual patent; it's a copyright on a
> particular expression.  Naturally the GPL doesn't apply to your
> code; how could it?  The GPL only applies to code that somebody else
> wrote.


> For your purposes GPL code is unusable.  That's fine.  For your
> purposes proprietary code is unusable.  That's fine.  My question
> is: what is the difference between the two cases?  Why is GPL bad
> and proprietary good?  Why bother to distinguish the GPL case?

See 1st point above.  -sc

Sean Chittenden
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