Re: [unrev-II] Slashdot thread; License type

From: Jon Winters (
Date: Fri May 05 2000 - 22:58:45 PDT

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    John \"sb\" Werneken wrote:

    > ONE QUESTION: under modified BSD, can derivative work be made proprietary?
    > If so, some companies would be more likely to support us (so long as it did
    > not turn in to something that would 'poison the well' as far as attracting
    > open source community support). Perhaps Jon Winters could speak to this, or
    > ask ESR ?

    Modified BSD is non-copylefted free software...

    <snip from>
    Non-copylefted free software

    Non-copylefted free software comes from the author with permission to
    redistribute and modify, and also to add additional restrictions to it.

    If a program is free but not copylefted, then some copies or modified
    versions may not be free at all. A software company can compile the
    program, with or without modifications, and distribute the executable
    file as a proprietary software product.

    The X Window System illustrates this. The X Consortium releases X11 with
    distribution terms that make it non-copylefted free software. If you
    wish, you can get a copy which has those distribution terms and is free.
    However, there are non-free versions as well, and there are popular
    workstations and PC graphics boards for which non-free versions are the
    only ones that work. If you are using this hardware, X11 is not free
    software for you.

    Richard Stallman has a nice article about why he likes copyleft software
    better than non-copyleft:

    Hope this helps.

    Jon Winters

    "Everybody Loves The GIMP!"

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