> If code is released to the public domain, anyone can use it
> without restriction.


> But there would be no license to protect us, to keep someone like
> Microsoft from copying our code, and re-releasing it as their own
> under a proprietary license.

Yeah, that's a subset of "anyone can use it without restriction".

> So as I wrote my programs, I started to use the GNU GPL. This made it
> clear that anyone could use my programs, and the source code would
> remain free and open to everyone.

That last part is not entirely accurate.

> [...] it prevented others from re-releasing my programs without
> making sure people had access to the source code.

That, however, is accurate.

> I was happy with that. I opted not to use MIT or BSD for personal
> reasons, I just thought the GNU GPL was the right one for me.

Similarly to releasing things into the public domain (where applicable),  
those licences differ from the GPL in that they do not impose copyleft. So  
following your perfectly understandable above explanation, of course you  
specifically wanted a licence with copyleft. Moving from public domain to  
a MIT-style licence wouldn't have added any copyleft (only attribution,  
that is, the requirement to display the copyright notice somewhere).


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