The internet was basically built on the GPL, and most of the code that makes it go was built using the GPL
You mean built on things like TCP/IP (BSD 4-clause) and Unix (ATT License) that enabled communication between networks?
Or like sendmail (BSD Licensed) that facilitated adoption of firstname.lastname@example.org email addresses, instead of the dominant mixed!bang!and!right%associative!email addresses and the X.400 C=US;A=IBMX400;P=EMAIL;G=firstname;S=lastname;O=engineering;OU=email;OU=internet-connectivity style of addresses?
Or like Usenet (various parts under various BSD licenses) that facilitated the exchange of information, software, and porn before the web even existed? The one that Linus posted his early Linux sources to?
Or like FTP (BSD license, and/or ATT License) that allowed archiving and known-distribution-points of software way before google made it easy to find things?
Or like web browsers (all derived, more or less from NCSA Mosaic) which was never open-source, but required paying license fees?
Or like web servers, like Apache, which had (has) a license that isn't GPL compatable?
Can you even name any important GPL software (other than emacs) that is in wide use, is important, and is non-derivitive of something already existing under a BSD or proprietatry license?
gcc: derivitive. Every company around provided c compilers.
linux: derivitive. Ever hear of Unix?