Re: OffTopic: Linux History (Re: Linux on-line bookstore)

Inaky Perez Gonzalez (
Sat, 16 May 1998 15:12:04 -0400 (EDT)

On Sat, 16 May 1998, Martin von Loewis wrote:

> > One correspondent has questioned whether this is accurate and I will
> > include the gist of our discussion below. From what John implies, BSD
> > was already free and public, but if this is the case, then why release
> > Linux at all? More importantly, if BSD was more 'free' than GPL, why
> > did the community embrace Linux?

> When he originally released it, there was a much stricter license on
> it than GPL: Free for private use only. The change to GPL was made on
> user's request. The BSD ownership was not very clear at that time,
> AT&T was claiming that significant parts of BSD were owned by USL, so
> you technically had to have a Unix source license to use 386BSD. This
> was settled years later with 4.4BSD Lite, so today's BSD derivatives
> don't have this problem.
You didn't give this enough attention. That is IMHO the real reason, back
then (and for several years) if you were using a *BSD then you were
breaking the law (according to AT&T).. Linux was the only clear choice.

> Martin

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