Daily reminder than if you use a non-copyleft licence for your software, you're cuckolded by big corporations.
>It's also valable if you use any *BSD
you are telling me you are okay with a corporation making billions off your software if you release it as bsd?
do you think apple or sony give a fuck about giving back to the community?
bsd is cancer
bsd turds are just the contrarians who are in a never ending psuedo quest for obscurity and most of them don't let the train stop here and go for haiku or plan9.
bsd is stolen by every major corporation and bsdrones actually view this as some sort of compliment while calling the GPL a virus in their 5 man IRC circlejerk
Just yesterday we had a thread on some guy trying to use pfsense to put together a router
>literally no wifi drivers
>"Oh you have to buy this one card from 2003 that's probably G only"
r u fukken serious
bsd is so fucking dead, and bsd losers always insist on telling me that it was ahead of linux 25 years ago and was first but they had some bullshit lawsuits with AT&T and unix at the very same time that linux took off. How utterly fucking appropriate, I genuinely believe that highschool jocks made BSD for suicide nerd containment.
>you are telling me you are okay with a corporation making billions off your software if you release it as bsd?
I'm falling for the b8 fuck
but Yes... i would be, should i release my code in BSD.. because i want people to feel free to implement my code anywhere they wish
the freedom to modify, even if i lose out. Maybe if they're swag they can donate money or code. If they want features they can suck a dick and pay for the feature
That's a non-copyleft license. MIT can be even free-er than 3-clause BSD, it allows derivatives to use your name for promotional purposes which is probably not a good thing unless you're okay with your name potentially being associated with knockoffs
Why are GPL tards so immensely butthurt that some do not want to take part in their silly hippie scheme and are okay with just sharing stuff with others with no strings attached?
Daily reminder that Mac OS X contains hundreds of lines of BSD code, and have been required to contribute almost nothing back the community in return.
The developers essentially 'do it for free'.
Apple has contributed much to open source.
They released the darwin kernel, they were the main driving force behind LLVM and Clang which is now going to replace GCC in most BSDs. Then there's also Cups and WebKit.
Only the GPL freetards are always butthurt about corporations taking the code.
This is the fucking intention, anyone can do with the code anything the fuck they want, this is the only and true freedom.
There's no getting to those GPL dumbasses, they're the Jehovahs Witnesses of the Licensing world.
>false sense of freedom
>cult-like agreement of the GPL, no criticism or questioning is tolerated
FreeBSD kernel, quality shit, runs in PS4 is the freebsd community butthurt? Fuck no, only the GPL freetards.
Sony also decided to compromise computer security to all their users with a rootkit made with stolen GPL code (in fact they were only successfully sued for doing that because they violated the GPL, even though the rootkit was the most pressing issue).
Because Sony didn't honor the GPL terms, which guarantees that your code will always be free and will not be used to mistreat it's users.
That's the whole point of copyleft, to guarantee freedom. I'd imagine that if Sony had honored the GPL from the start, their rootkit wouldn't have gotten anywhere. If you want to mistreat and jail your users, that's your choice. But you're not going to use my code or the code of anyone that cares enough about freedom to use the GPL in the process.
I'm new to licences. Is there any copyleft-like who prevents selling of your code without giving you nothing back?
Something you can use for personal projects, etc, but just can't make money out of it.
They wrote a constitution, which outlined what was and was not permissible by the government they formed. That's GPL-style.
For an example of BSD-style government, refer to Somalia.
>Only the GPL freetards are always butthurt about corporations taking the code.
No, that's not the problem at all.
>This is the fucking intention, anyone can do with the code anything the fuck they want, this is the only and true freedom.
Ok, so remind us all again why it's unreasonable to ask that the corporations who are using other people's code in the first place share what they did they with it?
And it's not like they have to give it away for free. There's nothing in the GPL that prevents you from selling your software for money, you just have to provide source code to customers. What's wrong with that?
Why is it unreasonable not to? Remember that this is a BSD hate thread. It always is. GPL tards are the only ones getting ass blasted over this, never able to accept any other viewpoint than their own.
Daily reminder that while you can't sell GPL binaries with closed source software for profit, you can sell BSD-3 binaries and source code too with no arguements
>you just have to provide source code to customers. What's wrong with that?
try running a fortune 500 company that invests millions of dollars into their programmers and code
the code should be private as it contains intellectual property of the company
>you are telling me you are okay with a corporation making billions off your software if you release it as bsd?
They're making billions with *their* software, mine was and remains free.
If somebody is willing to pay a price for the modified business software while my code is free, it's obvious that they're paying for the modifications.
Why would I be entitled to their own code?
Sorry, but rms cultism is just ramblings of entitled children that never produce anything of value irl.
>have been required to contribute almost nothing back the community in return.
Yet, you get Darwin, a whole OS, for free, as well as WebKit and other stuff.
While no sane business would touch (let alone "contribute to") the GPL plague with a 10km pole.
I honestly give no fucks about what someone does with my code. Copy left cucks have serious ego issues. If someone took my code and integrated it into a commercial product, I'd be honored.
Software patents and copywrites only stifle innovation. I work for a very large software company. The amount of money and man hours we have to spend tip toeing around open source licensing issues is insane, and it's mostly because of patent lawsuits and not actual licensing issues. Using open source code can weaken your defense patents.
"When someone uses the term 'intellectual property,' typically he's either confused himself, or trying to confuse you."
As it's been said before.
WebKit was based on a GPL project (KHTML), so they had to release it as GPL.
Darwin is Apple's way to outsource OS X backend development without having to provide the source of the whole OS.
It's licence and large amounts of copy-pasted BSD code meant that OS X was developed at little cost, without needing to return anything to the community.
>If someone took my code and integrated it into a commercial product, I'd be honored.
Unless they made a significant amount of money by modifying your code, without giving you even access to their modified version of your work (or any money).
>open source licencing is too hard for business
Then don't use it. Pay your own teams to reimplement the shit.
I hate it when someone (particularly a for-profit) complains that their free lunch doesn't taste nice enough.
>that invests millions of dollars
Woah, millions of dollars you say? That is so much money for a big company.
>If somebody is willing to pay a price for the modified business software while my code is free, it's obvious that they're paying for the modifications.
Or they're simply unaware that your free code exists, because Apple and Microsoft can spend hundreds of millions of dollars advertising their rebranded copy of your code.
>The amount of money and man hours we have to spend tip toeing around open source licensing issues is insane, and it's mostly because of patent lawsuits and not actual licensing issues.
Ok, but that's a whole separate issue. I don't think either side of the GPL vs BSD debate is happy with the current state of patent law.
>be GPL supporter reading the replies by others in this thread
>so many people complaining that the developers don't "give back to the community"
The point of the GPL isn't that big companies which use your software have to give back to you in any way (besides credit)
The point of the GPL is to ensure that your software, or bits of it, aren't used to support software which doesn't respect the end user's freedom. If you believe that freedom should be the default for everyone and that nonfree software is only a bad thing, this approach is reasonable.
Why is this never brought up in these threads? Why is it always about "if you use my software, you must give back!" when the point of freedom is that you're not FORCED to give back?
>because Apple and Microsoft can spend hundreds of millions of dollars advertising their rebranded copy of your code.
So? Am I entitled to their marketing dollars too?
If we both had an identical lemonade stand, and you advertised the shit out of yours, charged a higher price and turned out to be successful, would I be entitled to your profits?
Since we're selling the same product and people are dumb?
IMHO is both, but that is just my opinion and I think Stallman would agree.
>If we both had an identical lemonade stand, and you advertised the shit out of yours, charged a higher price and turned out to be successful, would I be entitled to your profits?
>Since we're selling the same product and people are dumb?
Tell the truth. They're not selling their own lemonade, they're selling YOUR lemonade.
Literally taking it from your stand and then reselling it at theirs.
Maybe they added something to it. Maybe not. But you're not even allowed to try to find out, because they said "our lemonade is proprietary", and reverse-engineering it even just out of curiosity would be grounds for them to sue you into financial ruin.
All the GPL would do in this case is require them to also provide the recipe to their paying customers if they request it.
Why are you so vehemently against that?
>why it's unreasonable to ask that the corporations who are using other people's code in the first place share what they did they with it?
Because freedom would be to let them not do that if they don't want to
You're only concerned with the freedom of the corporations. What about the freedoms of their customers?
This is the issue. The corporation loses nothing by providing source code to customers. Only the customers lose out without the source.
Don't get fooled, "give back to the community" is implicit on one of the 4 freedoms.
Let's not give up one inch on our freedoms.
The only freedom they lose is the freedom to remove the freedom of others.
You aren't asking the corporation to stick their dicks in a fishtank or give away free money to the poor.
>respect the end user's freedom
End user only cares about if the product works as advertised. End user doesn't care about licensing bullshit.
BSD licensed code gets into proprietary software, so what, only gpltards care about this.
I suppose you think it's perfectly OK that if a corporation figures out how to suck all the oxygen out of the atmosphere, they should be able to sell it back to everyone, and only the people who pay their ransom should get to live, huh?
Corporations exist to serve people. Not the other way around. Therefore, whenever there is a conflict between the freedoms of the people and those of a corporation, the freedoms of the people must be the paramount consideration.
And the exact issue here is that you're NOT buying a product if you're paying for proprietary software.
You're buying a license to USE the product, not the product itself.
If you buy GPL'd software, then you're actually buying a copy of the software... Because you get the source code, and you can do whatever the fuck you want to do with your copy of that source code... (Except infringe on anyone else's freedoms by using it in a proprietary product)
The GPL is a viral licence.
You must pass on the same freedoms that you got given to people you give the software to.
It's like dealing in Lemonade.
If I sell you GPL Lemonade (with the recipe) and you resell it, you have to let your customers themselves resell the lemonade you sold them (or give the customers the recipe if they ask).
It's hardly the end of freedom if the only freedom you lose is the freedom to not pass on the same freedom.
>Red Hat doesn't make shit off of other people's work
>neither does Canonical
The BSD license allows you to retain control over your own work, or research. This includes your ability to monetize it, or make it close sourced in the future if you so desire. It's yours, and you have every right to hold onto it.
GPL restricts what you can do with your own work. You run the risk of losing control of later developmental direction as well. Meanwhile big players like Redhat are raking in profits. If they take enough interest in your software, they can hijack development from you, and the GPL allows the to, by taking away your ability to claim ownership of your code if you decide that you want to.
GPL favors big time developers and end users. BSD favors small time developers and researchers. There's a very good reason why these big corporations have fully embraced GPL rather than BSD, and that is because it's UN their best interests to.
For free is not as in freedom, it can also means you have no choice but to do it for free as in slavery. One can get fooled on how a license operates.
Also, don't forget a lot of business make dollars from "contributions", offering crapware in exchange and then selling the real deal. That is why when stronger the GPL, the betterment of our rights and freedoms over the final product. And don't get me started as how a vendor lock-in can happen with licenses like BSD.
Let's say NO to crapware in exchange for labor!
>End users only care about if the product works
1. This is one of the problems with calling it "open source" instead of "free software:" open source is about source code, which is for developers and not users; free software is about freedom with your software, not just the source.
2. Not every end user has given up on software freedom, but not every end user knows about the issue of software freedom. You can thank the "open source" camp for this as well
>Meanwhile big players like Redhat are raking in profits. If they take enough interest in your software, they can hijack development from you, and the GPL allows the to, by taking away your ability to claim ownership of your code if you decide that you want to.
Just no. You always own YOUR COPY of the software. What Red Hat do with THEIR COPY is literally their business... If they continue to develop it, that's A-OK... And their customers get to do the same thing in turn, if they wish.
There is no way for Red Hat to prevent you from continuing to develop YOUR COPY of the GPL'd software. Whether or not you're able to monetize that effectively is up to you... But there's absolutely nothing Red Hat can do to stop you in that regard.
>I suppose you think it's perfectly OK that if a corporation figures out how to suck all the oxygen out of the atmosphere, they should be able to sell it back to everyone, and only the people who pay their ransom should get to live, huh?
Haha what kind of shitty analogy is that ?
>You're buying a license to USE the product, not the product itself.
The product is a license to use their software, and it's a perfectly valid thing to be sold. If you want to buy the software source code itself then that's fine, there are probably other corporations who will let you do that.
I think there is room for both BSD and GPL, and the only people who truly disrespect your freedom are the ones who want to kill either
"GPL fans said the great problem we would face is that companies would take our BSD code, modify it, and not give back.
Nope—the great problem we face is that people would wrap the GPL around our code, and lock us out in the same way that these supposed companies would lock us out. Just like the Linux community, we have many companies giving us code back, all the time. But once the code is GPL'd, we cannot get it back." ~~ Theo De Raadt
Not the same anon.
Why would the company use GPL? If they put money on it and make it a commercial product, why the fuck would they give away the recipe?
If YOU choose to write free software, you are aware that any money someone might possibly make on top of it is not yours. If you're not financially interested in your code and let it roaming through the internet, it's obvious someone will change something and sell.
But the GPL specifically ensures that you can run the program.
It ensures that you can modify it.
It ensures that you can sell it.
It ensures that you will get attribution for it
What do you lose?
>You aren't asking the corporation to stick their dicks in a fishtank or give away free money to the poor.
They are indeed throwing away money
You're basically saying capitalism is removing the freedom of others, as you've broken it down to elsewhere ITT
>You're basically saying capitalism is removing the freedom of others
No. With any other product you can buy, you can fuck with it. You can open it up and look inside it to see what makes it work. You can modify it, you can sell it to someone else, etc.
Proprietary code is about removing freedom from others, not capitalism. You can write free (as in freedom) software and charge money for it... All the GPL does is make sure that you're actually selling someone a copy of the software, that they can "open up and look inside" (source code) or modify, or resell to someone else, like any other product.
GPL makes sure that you have the freedom to do with your software what you can do with anything else you own.
Proprietary software is all about taking those freedoms away from you.
BSD license is bad because it allows software that was once free (as in freedom) to become proprietary.
>sell it to one person
>now that person that can unlimited copies of it and sell it without ever needing to write any software
Can you seriously not see what's wrong with this ?
Don't believe this image. GPL consumes all of your programming work if you include any GPL licensed code. If you don't want to expose your valuable knowledge as soon as you commercially release something with the risk of being sued, don't use GPL. GPL is altruistic but not good if you need coding to survive.
>The point of the GPL is to ensure that your software, or bits of it, aren't used in commercial software
This. GPL is not about freedom, plurality etc., it's about driving commercial software to extinction.
But instead of doing that by providing better software to outclass the commercial one, it creates a layer of incompatibility.
>twelve year old detected
Children should be seen and not heard.
Incorrect. Once your code is GPL'd all future additions to it must be as well. With BSD you can change the licensing of future additions if you desire to.
>BSD: do what fsck you want just don't sue me if it breaks your sh!t
>GPL: [laundry list of stipulations if you modify my code]
I don't think you understand what freedom is. BSD is good license if all you want is to cover your butt and give users freedom to do whatever they want. GPL is best if you want ensure your programs evolve over time - anyone makes mods has to contribute back to the public.
Hi /g/. I'm writing some free software that uses 2 libraries. One is licensed under the GPLv2 and the other is licensed under the GPLv3. What free license am I free to release this software under?
>they're selling YOUR lemonade.
But it's not mine, it's free like the sun, for anybody to take it.
>Why are you so vehemently against that?
Ideologically? Because it's retarded. That's not freedom, it's an extensive licence agreement, or a contract, saying "you can use mine as long as I can use everything that's yours".
It's the embodiment of entitlement. Entitlement that even if you couldn't sell your recipe to a single person, and somebody modifies it and starts selling like hot cakes, somehow you're entitled to the modified one.
GPL fails to understand a very simple premise: If a piece of code is free, and a modified version isn't, and people pay and agree to the license of the modified piece, they're paying (and agreeing to the terms) for the modifications *only*.
If you don't want that, just impose restrictions and copyright and lengthy licensing terms, like the GPL. But stop calling it free software.
GPL is not viable. It's viral and thus it rules out something like 90% of the collective professional programmer brain, since they're employed by companies and no companies can touch anything GPL.
And thus they stall progress (commercial software must reinvent the wheel) and stiffle the creation of more free software.
Because a company using a free codebase, is in its interest to commit upstream all the parts *except* their moneymaker, so as to benefit from open source development. We've seen that numerous times, clang is one example of such a case, it managed in half a decade to surpass 30 years of gcc development.
GPLtards think that a company would just use GPL and open source their product if there was no other solution.
Truth is, if a company's business model relies in at least some parts being proprietary, they'll just avoid GPL like the plague.
They could be willing to give back improvements to the code that don't negate their core moneymaker, but they can't do that with GPL, it's all or nothing, aka less free software.
>sell it to one person
>now that one person can make unlimited quantities of your delicious cake and sell it without ever needing to invent their own cake entirely from scratch
What the fuck are you even talking about?
>GPL is not about freedom, plurality etc., it's about driving commercial software to extinction.
>But instead of doing that by providing better software to outclass the commercial one, it creates a layer of incompatibility.
It's not about driving commercial software to extinction. Proprietary software, sure... But only if you use GPL'd code.
You can't have it both ways.
You want the freedom to use GPL'd code in your own product? You got it. That's guaranteed by the GPL.
You want to take away that freedom from everyone else who comes after you? Fuck you, and you can't use GPL'd code if you want to do that.
If you really think you can make better code than the stuff that's GPL'd, then go ahead and do it. Put your money where your mouth is, and spend a shitload of time and effort reinventing the wheel because you're an asshole who doesn't want to give others the same benefit that you yourself get from GPL'd code.
>You can write free (as in freedom) software and charge money for it
Anyone feel like the latest actors in a neverending play? I'm feeling deja vu from a hundred /g/ threads gone by.
>it's about driving commercial software to extinction.
I just checked RMS's backstory for similarity to supervillains, but I have to give him the benefit of a doubt.
>RHEL isn't commercial
>fucking ubuntu isn't commercial
>b-but those don't count because
Red Hat and Canonical both profit from their respective products. They are commercial products.
>b-but you can copy and sell them yourself!
This doesn't disqualifying them from being commercial software.
>GPL fails to understand a very simple premise: If a piece of code is free, and a modified version isn't, and people pay and agree to the license of the modified piece, they're paying (and agreeing to the terms) for the modifications *only*.
But that's wrong you retard. How about you sell your modifications on their own, without the inclusion of the GPL'd code instead, then?
What's that? You don't have a viable product without the GPL'd code? Why not? Too shitty a programmer to reimplement the same functionality using your own code?
>And thus they stall progress (commercial software must reinvent the wheel) and stiffle the creation of more free software.
No, they don't HAVE to reinvent the wheel. The choice is theirs; use the wheel that's already there, and build something on top of it, that others can then build on top of too... OR you can go the proprietary route.
How the fuck can you possibly complain "wahhh, I wanna use other people's free code and make money from it, but it's not fair if people want to use MY code!"
YOU sir, and proprietary software, are the embodiment of entitlement.
>Red Hat and Canonical both profit from their respective products. They are commercial products.
This is correct. They are commercial. They are simply not proprietary.
>Because they offer to do the disc burning part?
That's one thing they charge money for. They also charge money for the compiled binary version of the software, and they charge money for support.
If you want a copy of Red Hat without paying for it, you can download the entire source code to it and compile it yourself.
Hell, if you remove all the Red Hat branding from it, you can even sell your rebranded version yourself, without ever paying Red Hat a cent.
And yet Red Hat is a hugely successful company, proving that GPL'd code CAN be commercially successful.
can someone do that and get away with it? since the end product is closed source?
if yes, then there is no use of GPL
Yes. The only way for something to be commercial is if you're selling copies of something.
Google is a commercial product. You pay $0 to use it. Facebook is a commercial product. You pay $0 to use it. Red Hat and Ubuntu are commercial products. You pay $0 to use them.
They offer things with which they can actually compete. As you probably are aware, any monkey can right click an ISO and left click "Burn disk..." Why should anyone pay for that?
They offer things that only they can offer, which is the use of their servers for hosting, the use of their personnel for support and integration, etc.
Other people can offer the use of their own respective servers and people, and this is a concept known as "competition," something vital for capitalism.
Goes against the idea of "GPL is for hippies who just hate money and success" rhetoric, though looking at some of the replies in here it's understandable someone might be confused.
>can someone do that and get away with it?
Theoretically. Just like you can theoretically get away with commiting a murder.
If you get caught using GPL'd code in closed source products, though, expect a world of butthurt when you get dragged into court and financially ruined for all eternity.
>And yet Red Hat is a hugely successful company, proving that GPL'd code CAN be commercially successful.
We all know about redhat, they never stop being namedropped
Support work is a different industry to making money from software, and literally depends on software imperfection
Providing an entire OS for businesses is also better vantage point than being a normal person with some little intellectual property
>literally depends on imperfection
So.. it relies on something not being perfect?
That sounds pretty reliable to me :^)
This reply chain also forgets about hosting, which is something that can't be copy-pasted with 4 clicks.
You can get away with violation of any code or law, murder, genocide.
If there's a suspicion that your closed source software uses parts of code released under a GPL license and your software gets attention of the FSF you will have problems.
FSF gets like a million bucks a year in donations and all of that goes to a group of lawyers specialised in software license abuse and patent trolling.
Nowadays they literally do nothing else but provide lawyers to parties that are "hurt" by GPL violations.
So (i'm talking pure theory here) you're taken to the court, your code is audited for GPL licensed code, GPL licensed is found and you loose the case.
get away with murder is really hard, you have cameras all over the place, witnesses and yadda yadda yadda
but in closed source, if you think about it, its so easy... lets say:
i took your GPL code, modified it a bit so it would be really hard to distinguish my(your) modified code from yours... then finally i make it closed source... now you have no way to know/find out your code, or accuse/prove me a "stealer"
GPL wont protect your code, if i >Theoretically again, just play smart
and dont tell me you can find out, its almos-to-fully-impossible without source code to prove or know anything
>It's not about driving commercial software to extinction. Proprietary software
Commercial software can only be proprietary.
Red Hat et al don't sell commercial software, they sell commercial support. They're product is support and counselling, not software.
You can't sell GPL software commercially. The edge case "you sell it to one person for a huge sum, and then they can redistribute freely" is retarded.
In that sense, I can also buy Photoshop, Office, SPSS etc. code for a huge sum, and then redistribute it, so what's so special about GPL software bought once for a huge sum?
>You want to take away that freedom from everyone else who comes after you?
No, I want the freedom to do whatever I want with *my* code. Your code is free, it's a starting point, a given. It was your decision to be so, cause you wanted it to be free. If you don't want it to be considered a given and a starting point, stop calling it free.
>How about you sell your modifications on their own, without the inclusion of the GPL'd code instead, then?
That's what I'm doing.
But why without the GPL code? GPL code belongs to the public and is free and a given.
You don't want it to be so? Congrats, you created a proprietary license (GPL) which affords some extra liberties with regards to source code.
But that's not free software.
You're grasping straws.
If you modified code to the point where it's not remniscent of """stolen""" GPL code what GPL code we're talking about?
Let me guess, you're not actually a programmer.
>"wahhh, I wanna use other people's free code and make money from it, but it's not fair if people want to use MY code!"
Aren't you a little dense?
Cause these people are saying their code is FREE, while I'm not saying mine is free at all.
These entitled fuckwits can't have it all.
"Waah, my code is free, but don't use it in ways I don't like"
>can someone do that and get away with it? since the end product is closed source?
Yes, it happens all the time.
Check the fsf site for "gpl violations".
Literally hundreds of cases.
FSF has been reduced to a patent troll, employing mostly lawyers instead of developers.
That's the fat kike's dream.
>can someone do that and get away with it? since the end product is closed source?
I do something else.
I relicense GPL code as BSD after some very slight modifications, and then upload it to a couple "project sites" on my servers, using a spoofed timestamp and creation date and all.
Then, I use it in proprietary, and if someone finds out and complains (extremely rare), I point to (my) project site, where it appears as BSD licensed code.
Then the burden's on them to solve the chicken and egg problem, proving which came first, the actual GPL code, or maybe mine (with the spoofed timestamps and all) came first and someone wrapped in in GPL.
Defenders of BSD licenses fail to realize that making your code GPL does not prevent the copyright holder from licensing it under a different license later, or close-sourcing it entirely.
If I write some code on my own time. I hold the copyright to that code entirely (until someone else starts contributing as well). If I license that code under GPL for others to use, then a company can ask me to sell them the code under a different license as well.
Licensing does not surpass copyright. License your code under GPL publicly, and if a company wants to use it without the copyleft restrictions, you can sell it to them under a different license.
Source: Am a lawyer
its worth pointing out the copyright holder can't un-open source or close code that's already open. They can just stop licensing their own contributions under gpl if they choose.
so once code is gpl, its open forever even if the cw holder releases a closed version. only updates and new additions will be affected. And others can continue developing the open version.
In my experience some people don't understand this.
GPL supporter here but not as educated as I should be about this debate
If I contribute to a GPL project, and then find out about a similar BSD-licensed project, can I add the contribution I already made to the BSD project under the BSD license, or does it have to be GPL in all cases?
If you contribute some code to a GPL project, you still hold copyright over that code. You can sell it, license it under BSD, use it in another closed source project, or anything you want.
The code however, must be a fully new contribution, and not just a modification of existing code that someone else holds the copyright to.
dual licensing is fine. they just can't ever say "we're not using gpl anymore so all existing gpl versions are now illegal and violate our propriatary licence" if you have a copy of the gpl version, it still stands even if the cw holder doesn't want it to anymore.
GNU is a stupid license because it implies that programmers do not ever need to be paid
I was thinking of going into law, I think I'd be good at it but obviously I wouldn't know until I try it. How can I tell if I have the right kind of brain for it, and would you say it's worth it if I'm also a good programmer?
Dual licensing BSD and commercial means a company can just ignore your commercial license completely without any downside.
Dual licensing GPL and commercial means a company needs to either contribute back to your code base, or pay you for a commercial license.
Different types of law entail completely different things. A friend of mine is a criminal defense attorney, and other than the fundamentals, his kind of work is completely different from mine. He deals with trying to make sure people get due process when they're committed of a crime, and I deal with preventing unforeseen lawsuits between companies.
If you want to become a lawyer, make sure you know specifically which field you want to go into. It's not fun trying to decide on that later in your education.
You don't have to open up you're later code*, but you can't sue people for using the versions which were originally GPL.
*unless your later code uses code from someone who contributed while it was GPL, and unless you made them agree to assign copyright over to you when they submitted the code