[clug-talk] Article on Licensing

Niels Voll nvoll at voho.com
Tue Nov 23 09:07:01 PST 2004

Robert Lewko wrote:

>In my ideal world OS's would use the GPL.  What I have observed is that under 
>this licence, the most varied development happens while creating the climate 
>for the least forks.  Look at the number of versions of BSD to see what 
>happens under the BSD licence.

I'm not sure, if the BSD vs. the GPL licensing has that much to do with 
how much a project forks.

In my estimation, the non-forking of Linux should be credited to Linus' 
remarkable leadership skills.

At least one of the BSD forks was a leadership issue, if you read Theo's 

The GPL does not prevent forking - just look at PhpNuke - it has been 
significantly forked and some of those forks have been forked.

There are other highly successful projects like Apache, which don't use 
the GPL, but more a BSD styled license.

And even while some may argue, that Linux hasn't been forked,  there are 
significantly painful differences in the implementation details of the 
various distro's, that organizations like LSB and United Linux keep 
popping up. So one can have forking problems without forking, GPL or no GPL.

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