[Flac-dev] Should FLAC join Xiph?

Joshua Haberman joshua at haberman.com
Thu Nov 21 22:02:02 PST 2002

Matt Zimmerman <mdz at debian.org> wrote:
> 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.

However the combined work of a GPL'd library and a BSD-licensed application
would indeed have to be distributed under the terms of the GPL, correct?  It
just happens that the application's source code in this case is dual licensed.

> You can read more about various free software licenses here:
> http://www.gnu.org/licenses/licenses.html
> > 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.

Indeed, it is in the interest of people who make bugfixes or improvements to
contribute them back to the original project.  Otherwise, they have to do the
extra work of tracking the main releases against their modifications.

> > 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
> anyone.

If a company has paid a large sum of money for a BSD-licensed piece of software
they intend to use commercially, why are they going to give away copies for
free to their competitors?

Still, using a more restrictive license for companies who wish to keep their
modifications private achieves the same goals without the risk of letting
a BSD-licensed copy go into the wild (assuming you wish to keep it GPL).


Josh Haberman  <joshua at haberman.com>

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