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Date:      Sat, 19 May 2001 10:57:46 +0930
From:      Greg Lehey <>
To:        Seth Kramer <>
Subject:   What is GPL and open source? (was: Perens' "Free Software Leaders Stand Together")
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <002501c0e000$57523100$>; from on Fri, May 18, 2001 at 08:09:21PM -0500
References:  <000001c0dfb7$949e85c0$> <002501c0e000$57523100$>

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On Friday, 18 May 2001 at 20:09:21 -0500, Seth Kramer wrote:
> Humor a newbie.  What exactly is the difference between GPL and Open
> Source?  Further how is the licensing for BSD different from Linux
> distros, or BSD different from Linux for that matter?

*sigh* This looks like being a long thread.  Let's see if I can put
the terms into perspective.

1.  Free Software is the term Richard Stallman uses for any software
    which is freely redistributable without fees payable to the

2.  The GNU General Public License is a license which enforces freedom
    of software.  A program licensed under the GPL must remain free;
    you can't incorporate it in something else and sell it unless you
    make the source code available.

3.  The BSD license is a free software license which does not enforce
    freedom of software in the same way as the GPL.  A program
    licensed under the BSD license may be incorporated in something
    else and sold.  It's freer than the GPL, but it's also less
    attractive to big companies currently releasing their code as
    source, since they're worried about their competitors getting hold
    of their technology and incorporating it in their own for-sale

4.  Open Source is a term Eric Raymond uses to make free software
    palatable to commercial entities who might look at "free software"
    and decide it's worth what you pay for it.

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