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[Discuss] Home NAS redux

On Wed, 02 Jan 2013 16:57:39 -0500
Mark Woodward <markw at> wrote:

> The BSD license has allowed a great deal of software to be subverted
> to the detriment of the various BSD projects. This is a perfect
> example of how the BSD license does not protect your freedom. Granted
> in an ironic way.

Such as how the Linux kernel "borrowed" a bunch of *BSD device drivers
for its own use without contributing improvements back to the *BSD
kernel projects? Talk about irony.

Meanwhile Apple, the biggest *BSD shop in the world, has contributed
most of its *BSD changes back to the BSD kernel communities and most of
its KHTML changes back to the KDE community and everyone who uses
WebKit. A the same time, Apple was forced to stop contributing to GCC
and dump it, along with Samba, due to the "fuck TiVo" clause in the

> No one is forcing anyone to do anything. A software author chooses
> the GPL to protect the users of his software. If you want to modify
> or use GPL code, that was not originally written by you, then you
> must abide by the GPL by which you acquired the software.

Derivatives of GPL software are GPL software. This is a requirement of
the GPL. Thus, while the Linux kernel can take code from the FreeBSD
kernel just by keeping the BSD License text in that code, the FreeBSD
kernel cannot reciprocate without changing the license for the entire
FreeBSD code tree. This is the force being used: accept the GPL for all
of your software or you don't get to reap the benefits of collaboration
with GPL software projects.

Who's freedoms are being protected here? Certainly not the FreeBSD
developers' or users'. They're stuck between a rock (a software
license they don't want) and a hard place (having their code taken from
them without the takers giving anything back).

Rich P.

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