Subject: BSD, GPL and macroeconomics
From: "Federico Lucifredi" <>
Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2002 05:49:43 -0500

Tony Stanco <> wrote:
> Yes, there are other licenses, but only the BSD even comes close to
> an alternative body of code to proprietary's. But the BSD has the fatal
> (in my opinion) that it allows the community to be an unfunded research
> department for the proprietary companies, who then use their marketing
> to benefit the most from the work.

Going back to business topics, do the people on this list believe there is
an economic advantage in having publicly funded research under BSD-like
usage conditionsas opposed to the GPL?

(I am referring here to academic or federally funded research of the kind
that generates headlines of the kind "NASA just invented ***", "NewCompany
takes NASA innovation and runs with it")

Some economists usually mention the large sums spent in research by this
country as a determining factor in its (economic) continued growth. Now,
disregarding patent concerns for a minute, is it better from a "butter vs
cannons" perspective to have such research freely available to companies for
quick use (such as the case of some BSD code being used in Microsoft
Windows), or is it better for the (macroeconomic) prosperity of the
community to release it in a way such that it "stays" Free (GPL) ?

In this country quick payoff is usually rewarded - but except for the moral
reasons, can it be argued that I should license my university work under the
GPL because that is the best thing *economically* for the community at large

If I just rephrased some often-debated point that I am unaware of, please
just point me in the right direction with references. Somehow the question
feels like it must have been asked before, just perhaps not from this