NetBSD

Distributions that do not fit in the above categories (please limit discussion to freely available GNU/Linux/Hurd based distributions).
User avatar
Calum
guru
guru
Posts: 1349
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2003 11:32 am
Location: Bonny Scotland
Contact:

Post by Calum » Wed Nov 12, 2003 6:38 pm

that doesn't quite compute for the following reasoning:

as you say, some BSD code is used in microsoft windows. microsoft windows is licenced under the microsoft windows licence, even though it still contains the BSD code. it can do this because it complies with the requirement to nod the cap towards those regents of the university of california.

I think that if a GNU OS tipped its cap in the same totally legal way, it could simply release an OS that used BSD code but under the GPL instead. i don't see the legal difference from the point of view of the BSD copyright holders.

however it is shocking to me if the BSD licence really did actually prohibit GPL code being released (by being rapeable, it would discourage others from writing code to do the same job, in fact the only reason alternative GPL TCP/IP software (for instance) was written for linux was that BSD was the subject of a suspicious court case at the time. all other OSs of note, as i have heard anyway, use some BSD code in their TCP/IP software (if they have TCP/IP in the OS anyway)

User avatar
Void Main
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5716
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2003 5:24 am
Location: Tuxville, USA
Contact:

Post by Void Main » Wed Nov 12, 2003 7:02 pm

Before I respond I did a Google search on this and the first link that popped up doesn't have the answer but it is another great example of Microsoft raping the code and turning it proprietary:

http://techupdate.zdnet.com/techupdate/ ... 75,00.html

Now, I still haven't really researched it and not being a lawyer myself you may be right. Maybe it's possible that you could do this. If it is, maybe people who believe in the GPL are just too proud/ethical to partake in the raping process themselves.

Another thing that just came across my mind is that if it would be legal to do such a thing you would only be taking a copy of a BSD licensed package and adding the GPL, but the BSD licensed version would still exist as a BSD project, forever. You would basically be forking it and placing the forked version under a new license. I believe this was done with WINE vs WINEX but I think some of the original copyright holders were the ones doing the forking/relicensing. Might be another area to research. You would have the BSD version and the GPL version and the GPL version would have to be developed to a much higher level than the BSD version before people would abandon the BSD project. Even then, that original code would be there for the taking, forever. So, there may be more than just legal reasons that it doesn't get done, but I still think there are legal issues. I'll try and do some more research.

And of course Microsoft is legal to use the BSD code however they want because they paid SCO $20M for a license. What a freakin' joke that is! All Microsoft ensured in that deal was to lengthen the time that SCO will provide us with entertainment.
Last edited by Void Main on Wed Nov 12, 2003 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Calum
guru
guru
Posts: 1349
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2003 11:32 am
Location: Bonny Scotland
Contact:

Post by Calum » Wed Nov 12, 2003 7:08 pm

i'd love to see that fork take place. i think after a year or two, the GPLBSD release or maybe GNU/BSD (hot damn! that would be a killer OS!) would be noticably better than the basic BSD stuff. also, remember that the GNU version could utilise all the BSD updates etc while the BSD crowd would have to turn their projects into GPL ones if they wanted to take the GPL improvements "back". that'll learn them for allowing this to happen in the first place.

i see whatyou mean about people being too ethical to take part in this business, and it couldn't do anything but sour relations between the BSD and Linux factions.

Still, what a thought!

User avatar
Void Main
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5716
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2003 5:24 am
Location: Tuxville, USA
Contact:

Post by Void Main » Wed Nov 12, 2003 7:41 pm

But the license isn't what makes a killer OS. The license can insure that it stays a killer OS but it takes good programming to create a killer OS. I personally believe that Linux based distributions achieved the killer OS status many years ago. And most/all already incorporate GPL *and* BSD licensed software as we've listed in this discussion. The only real difference between the BSD license and GPL is the GPL license prevents rape like what happened in that ZD article I linked to above. It ensure's that the user will be able to fix their operating system if it's broken, or customize it to fit their needs (of course they still need the technical knowhow).

Also, I just realized I am an idiot for mentioning the WINE vs WINEX as something to research for our discussion. It has absolutely nothing to do with the BSD license:
http://www.winehq.com/hypermail/wine-de ... /0089.html

EDIT: I just found another interesting article with lots of numbers and percentages and revised just a few days ago:

http://www.dwheeler.com/essays/gpl-compatible.html

I really think there will come a day in the not too distant future when all code (or 95+%) will be GPL licensed. I think we can give most of our thanks to Microsoft for making GPL converts out of BSD people.

Post Reply