Choosing a free software license
Posted May 23, 2007 20:53 UTC (Wed) by mheily
In reply to: Choosing a free software license
Parent article: A day at the Open Source Business Conference
> "If FreeBSD had been under the GPL, free software would have been given a significant competitive advantage over proprietary software?"
Unfortunately, no. My point was that Apple would not have chosen to use a GPL-licensed operating system because it would have forced them to give away a lot of proprietary code that is critical to maintaining their market niche. They have a number of APIs (Carbon, Cocoa, Quartz, IO Kit, etc.) that are intertwined with the kernel and operating system. These APIs provide the "graphical user experience" that is at the heart of their business model.
I just ported a low-level system library from Linux to OpenBSD, and then to OS X. It was pretty easy due to the similarities between Linux and BSD. If Apple had used a proprietary UNIX OS (NeXTstep) as the foundation for OS X, porting would have been more difficult. In my mind, wasting developers' time is a far greater crime than selling a mixture of free and proprietary software.
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