Subject: Re: Sun, BSD, and GNU
From: "Tim O'Reilly" <>
Date: Sun, 30 May 1999 21:32:50 -0700

Brian Bartholomew wrote:
> > The point remains that regardless of whether code under the GPL
> > *might* have had big commercial impact, it was code under the
> > Berkeley license that *has* had the impact.
> The problem with that calculation is how value is measured.  If value
> is measured strictly by counting up purchases, then volunteer labor
> will tend to be valued near zero, regardless of the price to buy
> equivalent service if the volunteerism didn't exist.
> If 15% of the market uses Linux, isn't that a commercial impact,
> regardless of how little money changed hands?

Yes, that is commercial impact, but it misses my point.  My guess
is that the "volunteerism" impact of BSD vs. GPL is similar.  But
the "paid in dollars" in businesses who've leveraged 
BSD-licensed code is much greater.

I really think that people underestimate how much of the Internet
came out of  BSD networking, and so I'm always trying to put that
corrective into discussions that seem to revolve around Linux and
GNU as the major focus of the Open Source story.
Tim O'Reilly @ O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.  
101 Morris Street, Sebastopol, CA 95472   
707-829-0515 ext 266, Fax 707-829-0104,