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Comment Good, but... (Score 1) 121

thank god Xerox didn't do open source back then, free software might have never seen the light of day:

In 1980, Stallman and some other hackers at the AI Lab were refused access to the source code for the software of a newly installed laser printer, the Xerox 9700. Stallman had modified the software for the Lab's previous laser printer (the XGP, Xerographic Printer), so it electronically messaged a user when the person's job was printed, and would message all logged-in users waiting for print jobs if the printer was jammed. Not being able to add these features to the new printer was a major inconvenience, as the printer was on a different floor from most of the users. This experience convinced Stallman of people's need to be able to freely modify the software they use.

(from: )

Comment Re:...but if you want free software to improve... (Score 1) 1098

Or alternatively, BSD emphasizes freedom for everybody. GPL emphasizes freedom for end-users by attempting to ensure that any derivative works are also free. The real world effect of course is that people writing commercial software still write the same commercial software, but can't use anything involving GPL in those products. So, even if there's a commonly used tool that does most of the job, they have to reinvent the wheel which means that they waste more time doing that then adding value to customer (or have to charge the customer more to cover the increased development time).

The users have exactly the same freedoms as before PLUS the ability to buy a product that might better serve their needs. The end-users are still just as free to use the original software as they were before.

Your point about commercial software developers benefitting from BSD by building closed source software based on open source software is not convincing to me. If there were no GPL at all, and all open sourced software would be BSD licensed, how much open source software would there be for a commercial developer to benefit from in the first place? Not much I fear, if we were all commercial developers like that.

Comment Re:...but if you want free software to improve... (Score 1) 1098

The GPL is all or nothing, and the GPL community often gets absolutely nothing by insisting on all.

I'm not so sure about that. The Linux kernel (GPL-licensed) for example, is much more widespread than the OpenBSD kernel (BSD-licensed). I think an important reason why Linux is a success is that it receives contributions from many sides, including commercial enterprises. It is not at all self-evident that this would have been the case if Linux would have been BSD-licensed.

If you're not careful, you're going to catch something.