[Flac-dev] Should FLAC join Xiph?

Matt Zimmerman mdz at debian.org
Thu Nov 21 17:39:02 PST 2002

On Thu, Nov 21, 2002 at 08:11:13PM +0100, Steve Lhomme wrote:

> Well, I think going GPL would be too much, only GPL softwares could use
> the library.

This is a common misconception, but entirely untrue.  There are many
free software licenses, including the BSD-style licenses, which are
compatible with the GPL.

You can read more about various free software licenses here:


> BSD is too much too because changes in the software world (improvements,
> bugs, backdoors) would not be available to you.

This depends entirely on who is making the changes.  There are many
successful projects, such as Apache, where improvements are freely shared.

> I think for hardware, dual-licensing is the way to go. You can use a BSD
> license as the second license, but only available to people who pay (or
> any other reward, or nothing) for that version.

I don't understand...a BSD license grants permission to redistribute the
software freely; it does not make sense to charge a fee for software under
this license because once it is given, the purchaser may give copies to

The idea behind dual licensing is to provide for both free software and
commercial uses.  The software can be made available under a copyleft
license (such as the GPL) which allows it to be used to create derived free
software, and also under a license which is more restrictive, but allows for
derived works to remain proprietary.

 - mdz

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