Question about GNU/Linux & the advertising clause of BSD

Arandir arandir at
Mon Oct 11 05:26:59 UTC 1999

On Sun, 10 Oct 1999, Brian Behlendorf wrote:
> ...
> I think, ethically, this is OK - this is one way to prevent "frivolous"
> forks, even though I think we all agree the right to fork is essential.
> The question is - how do we reconcile it with the GPL/LGPL?  Is this
> company forced to create YAOSL (yet another open source license), when all
> it is is a GPL with an ad clause?

I would agree that this is ethical. There are some that would maintain that
software must not be "owned". However, for a business to succeed in a
capitalized society, it must own the products it sells. And since ownership
translates to control in practice, the business must be able to control some
aspect of the software. Control over the initial development of the
software is insufficient, since once it is released, control vanishes. Having an
advertisement clause asserts control over the marketing of the software.

> Anyone else have a good idea on how to make end-users aware of theupstream
> origin of the open source software they are using?

If you don't want to write a YAOSL,  your choices are very limited. If you do
write another one, make it more that just "a GPL with an ad clause".

David Johnson

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