Subject: Re: handling copyright/license infringement
To: Chris Laverdure <>
From: Miguel Mendez <>
List: current-users
Date: 09/18/2004 11:15:02
On Sat, 18 Sep 2004 03:19:49 +0000
Chris Laverdure <> wrote:

I somehow cannot find the rest of this thread in my archives, but it
raises an interesting point, so I'll comment.

> > > Is it just me, or is there actually a movement out there to take a
> > > program, decide that the license isn't GPL, then either steal it
> > > and call it GPL, or rewrite it and call it GPL. Just for the
> > > belief that GPL licensed code is inherntly better than other code?

I blame this on people blindly following what some GPL advocates say. I
remember reading a quote from Bruce Perens (in /. IIRC) saying something
like "the good thing about the BSD license is that you can create a
GPL'd derivative work and protect the code". Of course, the BSD license
allows that as long as the (C) notice is kept intact.

It has has happened a couple of times that some Linux programmer takes
BSD code, removes the license and releases it again (remember the ATA
code fiasco when a couple of Red Hat developers took code from FreeBSD's
S=F8ren and released it under the GPL without giving credit to the
original author.)

Most of the times, an agreement can be made with the original author so
that changes made to the GPL derivative work can make it back to the BSD

Still, some of the GPL zealots fail to understand that if
$EVIL_CORPORATION uses BSD code, it doesn't magically disappear.

> > I want to make my work to be rally free for use by other people.
> > From my personal point of view, BSD license almost exactly does this
> > and GPL license heavily restricts my rights. Question is: may i add
> > 4th statement like:
> >=20
> > 4. This source code may not me be distributed under other license.

By adding that clause you're turning your BSD license into a GPL-like
one. The GPL doesn't allow you to relicense derivative works under a
different license, e.g. I cannot take GNU's bash and release a
derivative work under the BSD license.

If you want to give people freedom to use your code for whatever they
want to, do so, with all the consequences.

In my case, I always release my software under the BSD license and if
somebody wants to use parts of it for a commercial or GPL'd product, so
be it, as long as they give credit where it's due. I believe most people
working on BSD projects feel the same.

Just my $0.02
	Miguel Mendez <>
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