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From Donald Ball <>
Subject Re: Licenses (was Re: Image Serializers)
Date Thu, 13 Apr 2000 19:00:46 GMT
On Thu, 13 Apr 2000, Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:

> Totally. When RMS and I met last year, we had a long conversation about
> GPL vs. BSD... it turns out that both of us agree that we are both on
> the "good side" of the fence. But following different beliefs (I might
> add: due to our different view of the world).

My last word in the annual license debate.

For software which implements an open standard, particularly one that's in
danger of being embraced and extended by closed proprietary vendors,
especially when a good reference implementation does not exist, BSD is an
excellent choice for the license.  The possibility that commercial
interests will use the code without recompense is less important than the
probability that the standard will be adhered to fully and correctly,
without proprietary "enhancements" or "interpretations" by the market
leader effectively closing it.

For open source software which does not bear this onus, is in competition
with a profitable commercial package, GPL is an excellent choice for the
license. It ensures that the commercial leader, or potential commercial
competitors to the leader, cannot simply strip code from the project for
use in their own without opening up their code. This means that
enhancements to the software are much more likely to find their way into
the main codebase. When GPL code needs to interoperate with other code,
LGPL is generally a good compromise.

- donald

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