BSD: Best License for IT? An Interview with Mark Brewer, CEO of Covalent Technologies

To be honest, I have no experience with BSD at all. So I guess that I am saying that while I am a huge Linux fan, I would be willing to hear out the BSD guys before passing judgment. With that in mind, check out this interview with Mark Brewer.

DAN WOODS: Why do you favor the BSD license over other open source options for the IT context?

MARK BREWER: I should clarify that when I say I believe that BSD-based license technology is better for IT departments, I mean IT departments that are taking in code and potentially changing it, enhancing it for their own business use or incorporating it into other products or other software development projects. IT departments who are just taking in GPL code as is, and don’t intend to make any modifications, or go back to the community that owns that code and tell them or give those changes back, then they’re fine. I think there’s definitely a place for GPL-based software and I think there’s definitely a place for BSD-based software.

I am very pro-BSD for a number of reasons. One reason is that when you look at the successful projects that Covalent happens to be involved in, they have not forked, and they have not died like so many of the early advocates of the GPL predicted. Apache or BSD-based technologies have done extremely well, and the communities around them have done very well at enhancing and maintaining them, and not not forking them. Moreover, we’ve seen projects like Apache Tomcat flourish and grow, it’s in version 5.5 now and it is the most widely used application server out there. Another reason I’m an advocate of BSD is that I think software vendors as a whole should be able to take advantage of open source technologies without having to deal with all the issues that the GPL presents. In fact, the GPL is frequently, not compatible with other licenses software vendors may have, or other licenses they wish to use within their product. BSD-based software lets you do whatever you want. [Read the rest]

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