Wednesday, September 05, 2007

GPLv3 may drive users from Linux to FreeBSD

GPLv3 will help FreeBSD take some users away from Linux, according to the founder and vice president of The FreeBSD Foundation, reports ZDNets.

Writing in the FreeBSD Foundation's August newsletter, Justin Gibbs said: "GPLv3 is a critical concern for many current commercial users of open-source software. Against the backdrop of GPLv3, the stark difference between the BSD licensing philosophy and that of the Free Software Foundation is only too clear," he said.

One difference Gibbs saw was future-proofing of the licences.

Linux, he said, is not immune to failure, but certain tips and strategies could rescue your machine from an untimely demise.

"A GPL proponent might argue that a licence for free software must be upgraded periodically since we cannot anticipate what new use models for free software might be developed that restrict freedom. The BSD licence is as permissive as possible exactly because we cannot predict the future or to what beneficial purpose, commercial or otherwise, our software will be used," said Gibbs.

Citing high support costs and an inability to guarantee adherence to specification for licensing, Gibbs said, "now was the perfect time to clarify the differences between GPLv3 and BSD licenses and start to engage with large current and potential users of open-source software to understand their use models and how the GPLv3 might impact them".

Gibbs said the FreeBSD Foundation will provide an effective response to GPLv3 and he implored the community to make the most of the opportunity it provided.

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