[Fsfe-ie] Library applications

Glenn Strong Glenn.Strong at cs.tcd.ie
Mon Aug 8 22:04:09 CEST 2005

On Monday, August 8, 2005 at 20:45 +0100, teresahackett at eircom.net wrote:
> This library software company claims to produce "open source" library 
> applications. The paragraph below indicates that they are not free 
> software. Is this what they mean by a "BSD-like" license?
> Thanks if anyone can advise.

The BSD license *is* actually a Free Software license, but we prefer
the GPL for a couple of reasons:

The so-called "BSD style"  license (so-called because they are derived
from the license  used for the Berkeley Software  Distribution, a unix
variant) Allows People to share and modify code just like copyleft

 (i) it does not require derived versions to also be free. This means
someone can take the BSD licensed version, make a change, and then
refuse to share the change back. Obviously, this hurts the community;
they benefit from the work of the community but won't join it.

(ii) The original BSD license contained a clause that required all
advertising to credit the regents of UCB. The problem is that when you
build a system (like GNU/Linux, or even OS X) that includes hundreds
of components the BSD license could require you to include the names
of all the authors in your advertising. Somewhere on the FSF page
there's mention of an advert with 75 such lines! The "modified BSD"
license doesn't require this, but it's not clear which one they are using.

Glenn Strong

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