Subject: Re: copyright questions
To: Chris G. Demetriou <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Andrew Gillham <email@example.com>
Date: 06/13/1997 11:11:58
Chris G. Demetriou wrote:
> It's not "almost unlimited." In a nutshell, it says something like:
> "if you're shipping something which is based on or uses software the
> software covered with that license or are acting on behalf of someone
> who is, you _must_ give me credit in your advertising, marketing, and
> informational materials for that thing, be they in magazines, on the
With the advent of this clause in licenses, anyone wishing to use
NetBSD for commercial purposes will be in for an interesting ride.
Perhaps I develop a CDROM of NetBSD, or an embedded OS, or a "lite"
server based on NetBSD. I decide to buy a full page ad in a
magazine that I feel will reach my target market. After coming up
with a nifty ad that spells out how my product is the best, I realize
I need to add some text to comply with the license. So now I need to
put something in my ad:
This product includes software developed by
Christopher G. Demetriou for the NetBSD Project.
Now my potential customers might think Chris works for me, or perhaps
that Chris is the only member of the NetBSD Project. Oh.. but all
the other developers want the "same deal", so I have to put a few hundred
of these in my full page ad. Soon I don't any room to advertise.
Or perhaps I just use a font that is incredibly small, and can't be
read without a magnifying glass. Then I can cram all of the text onto
the bottom corner of my ad and recover some of my expensive advertising
IMHO it is not going to make it *easier* to develop commercial software
with even one license like this in the tree. Other licenses that require
credit in the documentation is very easy to comply with. (provided you
find *all* of them) In my mind this type of license works much like the
GPL in that it attaches itself to code, and *seriously* restricts it's
use in *any* permutation.
I would say that allowing a license that dictates what is done with
expensive advertising space is suicidal for the NetBSD Project. (and
ad space is just one example of it's all encompassing verbage)
Also, I would be very disappointed to hear that this is brought about
becausee someone wants to "stick it to OpenBSD" for various reasons.