The argument against copyleft, or for BSD

Nico Rikken nico.rikken at
Sun Jul 12 10:04:32 UTC 2015

Dear discussion readers,

Today I stumbled on an argument for the use of the BSD-license, as
hosted on the FreeBSD website, originating from 2013. [1]


Apart from accusing the GPL of intentionally keeping software "at the
research and development stages", the argument is made to avoid helping
competitors and to avoid license issues when developing.

I'd rather like to turn both these arguments around in that you get an
inherent benefit from having competitors contribute to the equal playing
field of free software as its value increases in relation to the
non-free alternatives. Regarding the licenses it seems that for any
large software project license considerations are real and hardly

As has been stated by the FSF many times over, there are cases where the
GPL might not be the right license, and even copyleft might be
undesirable. [2] The only indirect approval of the BSD license I have
found was in that software licenses should adhere to current licensing
practices in related projects.


Do you consider that there are still valid arguments to be made for the
use of the BSD license in software projects other than license
compatibility with existing projects?

I'm keen to hear from you.

Kind regards,
Nico Rikken
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