Re: [SLUG] Difference in BSD and Linux

From: Andrew M Hoerter (
Date: Mon Sep 15 2003 - 13:03:32 EDT

On Sun, 14 Sep 2003, Levi Bard wrote:

> Well, we could flame back and forth for years about this, but how one
> feels on this issue really depends on the perspective in which you view
> software freedom. "Is it more free if I can distribute this generation
> as my own without source, or is it more free if the users are guaranteed
> the somewhat more limited freedom of its descendants?" Do I grant
> myself complete, anarchic freedom, possibly condemning my progeny to
> lives of slavery, or do I agree to live within a reasonably free set of
> rules, thereby guaranteeing that future generations will have the same
> liberty I possess?

Just one question, out of curiosity: are you aware that the implicit goal
of Richard Stallman's philosophy is the elimination of non-free software,
and if so, do you agree with this goal?

To me, a state of freedom includes the right to create proprietary and/or
closed source software if one desires, and to use any license desired.

If you agree with that idea, then this debate is mostly academic; as long
as we all have the right to choose our licensing terms, then developers
will devote their efforts to whatever camp they agree with, businesses
will use whatever license is most advantageous to them, etc. Everyone's
happy, except for the people who want to force a particular license on the

Considering that free software existed before there was a Free Software
Foundation or GPL, and that BSD has survived for decades despite having a
license "vulnerable" to exploitation, I remain unconvinced by the argument
that free software can't survive without a GPL-ish license.

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