Subject: copyright questions
To: None <current-users@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Thomas Graichen <email@example.com>
Date: 06/12/1997 09:37:57
i have a little question about the copyright's used in the NetBSD
at the NetBSD homepage i find the following under the "goals":
In summary, the people involved in the NetBSD Project use a
Berkeley-style license where possible because it closely matches our
goal of allowing users to do whatever they'd like with our software,
while making sure that we get credit for the work we have done.
ok - now let's see how such an berkeley licence is looking like (this
is the one from src/bin/ls/ls.c):
* Copyright (c) 1989, 1993, 1994
* The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
* This code is derived from software contributed to Berkeley by
* Michael Fischbein.
* Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
* modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions
* are met:
* 1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
* notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
* 2. Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
* notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the
* documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
* 3. All advertising materials mentioning features or use of this software
* must display the following acknowledgement:
* This product includes software developed by the University of
* California, Berkeley and its contributors.
* 4. Neither the name of the University nor the names of its contributors
* may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software
* without specific prior written permission.
* THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE REGENTS AND CONTRIBUTORS ``AS IS'' AND
* ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE
* IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE
* ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE REGENTS OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE
* FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL
* DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS
* OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION)
* HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT
* LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY
* OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF
* SUCH DAMAGE.
looks fine so far ... now let's have a look at the copyright of
another file in the source tree - src/sys/arch/alpha/alpha/locore.s
(it's not the only file with this style of copyright):
* Copyright Notice:
* Copyright (c) 1997 Christopher G. Demetriou. All rights reserved.
* This License applies to this software ("Software"), created
* by Christopher G. Demetriou ("Author").
* You may use, copy, modify and redistribute this Software without
* charge, in either source code form, binary form, or both, on the
* following conditions:
* 1. (a) Binary code: (i) a complete copy of the above copyright notice
* must be included within each copy of the Software in binary code form,
* and (ii) a complete copy of the above copyright notice and all terms
* of this License as presented here must be included within each copy of
* all documentation accompanying or associated with binary code, in any
* medium, along with a list of the software modules to which the license
* (b) Source Code: A complete copy of the above copyright notice and all
* terms of this License as presented here must be included within: (i)
* each copy of the Software in source code form, and (ii) each copy of
* all accompanying or associated documentation, in any medium.
* 2. The following Acknowledgment must be used in communications
* involving the Software as described below:
* This product includes software developed by
* Christopher G. Demetriou for the NetBSD Project.
* The Acknowledgment must be conspicuously and completely displayed
* whenever the Software, or any software, products or systems containing
* the Software, are mentioned in advertising, marketing, informational
* or publicity materials of any kind, whether in print, electronic or
* other media (except for information provided to support use of
* products containing the Software by existing users or customers).
* 3. The name of the Author may not be used to endorse or promote
* products derived from this Software without specific prior written
* permission (conditions (1) and (2) above are not considered
* endorsement or promotion).
* 4. This license applies to: (a) all copies of the Software, whether
* partial or whole, original or modified, and (b) your actions, and the
* actions of all those who may act on your behalf. All uses not
* expressly permitted are reserved to the Author.
* 5. Disclaimer. THIS SOFTWARE IS MADE AVAILABLE BY THE AUTHOR TO THE
* PUBLIC FOR FREE AND "AS IS.'' ALL USERS OF THIS FREE SOFTWARE ARE
* SOLELY AND ENTIRELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OWN CHOICE AND USE OF THIS
* SOFTWARE FOR THEIR OWN PURPOSES. BY USING THIS SOFTWARE, EACH USER
* AGREES THAT THE AUTHOR SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR DAMAGES OF ANY KIND IN
* RELATION TO ITS USE OR PERFORMANCE.
* 6. If you have a special need for a change in one or more of these
* license conditions, please contact the Author via electronic mail to
* or via the contact information on
* Copyright (c) 1994, 1995, 1996 Carnegie-Mellon University.
* All rights reserved.
* Author: Chris G. Demetriou
* Permission to use, copy, modify and distribute this software and
* its documentation is hereby granted, provided that both the copyright
* notice and this permission notice appear in all copies of the
* software, derivative works or modified versions, and any portions
* thereof, and that both notices appear in supporting documentation.
* CARNEGIE MELLON ALLOWS FREE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE IN ITS "AS IS"
* CONDITION. CARNEGIE MELLON DISCLAIMS ANY LIABILITY OF ANY KIND
* FOR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER RESULTING FROM THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE.
* Carnegie Mellon requests users of this software to return to
* Software Distribution Coordinator or Software.Distribution@CS.CMU.EDU
* School of Computer Science
* Carnegie Mellon University
* Pittsburgh PA 15213-3890
* any improvements or extensions that they make and grant Carnegie the
* rights to redistribute these changes.
can you see a difference ? - i think this "a complete copy of the
above copyright notice and all terms of this License as presented here
must be included within each copy of all documentation accompanying or
associated with binary code, in any medium, along with a list of the
software modules to which the license applies." is a bit overkill and
is - at least for me - a contradiction to the ideas written in the
goals section of the NetBSD www pages - also i can't understand how
this is going together with the dislike of many of the *BSD
developers to the gnu gpl (general public licence) due to their
relative "unfreeness" compared to the berkeley style licence ... i
think the above copyright is at least also a step away from the
"freeness" of the berkeley style licence ...
just to give some examples of the implications of that kind of
copyright if you take it for real - look at the following situtations:
if you burn a cd and write a post-it note telling a friend how to
start it.. you soon have to print a couple of sheets of paper with
copyrights and software lists accompanying that note ... or even worse,
if you speak to him over the phone - you have to read him this
information: any medium includes phone ... or air borne speech too of
course ... spoken howto-use info must be considered documentation too
if it is extended to any medium ...
i would be interested to hear what other people think about this and
what are the reasons for the ones using this kind of licence not to
stay with the berkeley style licence - is the credit you get from it
not enough ? ... is it really required to do such stuff ?
thanks in advance
thomas graichen - firstname.lastname@example.org graichen@OpenBSD.org graichen@FreeBSD.org
perfection is reached, not when there is no longer anything to add, but when
there is no longer anything to take away antoine de saint-exupery