Subject: Re: copyright questions
To: Phil Knaack <>
From: Chris G. Demetriou <>
List: current-users
Date: 06/13/1997 10:30:34
> 	Code under the BSD copyright is "freely distributable" given the
> "appropriate credits."  You claim your stuff is also "freely distributable"
> given the "appropriate credits," but your definition of "appropriate credits"
> is different enough from the BSD copyright's definition as to make the
> concept of "freely distributable" in your copyright .. a farce.

That's absolutely false.  You can distribute the code freely --
without fee or permission -- as long as you give the attribution.

> 	"I can be bought."  Those words will forever represent you I think.

Keith Bostic said them first (or at least before me, and as far as I
know with the exact same intent), and he's where I picked up the
saying from.  Take that as you will.

Money isn't a bad thing, especially since money buys freedom and
opportunity.  Lest you forget, it was my personal checkbook, and its
use to buy a couple of 486-50's with a bunch of RAM and disk, that got
the NetBSD project _started_.

> 	If you have a problem with what happens to code committed to the
> NetBSD tree under the existing BSD copyright that has been an accepted
> form of copyright/license for a very long time, then perhaps you need to
> reconsider
> 		1) what you commit to NetBSD, and
> 		2) the goals you hope to attain in working with
> 		   the NetBSD project.
> 	Clearly you have unstated personal goals in mind.
> *That* hurts NetBSD.  I can't believe Core can't see that.

I actually reconsidered "what I wanted to commit to NetBSD," and came
up with the answer "whatever I can, with a license more acceptable to
me and also acceptable to 'core'."  I considered punting my developer
account, I considered punting responsibility for the various things
which I currently take care of (mostly the Alpha port).  However, I
figured that that would be a bad thing for the users of the Alpha port
(and, indeed, people whose systems work because of code i've committed
with the new copyright would probably agree with me 8-).

Clearly I have unstated personal goals?  I think not (and where to you
come off, spouting _that_)?!

> 	Your copyright, on the otherhand, while attempting to mimic the
> BSD copyright, is shaped by your ideals and goals, which I've conjectured
> above, differ from those of other free-OS developers.  Your copyright
> smacks less of a free-OS license and more of commercial software.
> Your copyright says "Me, Me, Me" where the BSD copyright says
> "Free, BSD, Me." That hurts NetBSD, and that is what I have a problem
> with.

If you have a problem with my license, don't use my code.  In fact,
feel free to find every file in the system with my copyright on it,
and 'rm' it from your source tree.  (Of course, that'd also remove
software covered by my old license and software under other licenses,
e.g. the unmodified Berkeley license.  However, with a bit more
sophistication, you can just get the stuff with the new license.)

If NetBSD has a problem with my license, _IT_ doesn't have to use my
code.  That's why I specifically asked 'core' before changing my
license, and indeed worked with core (and a lawyer, again paid for
with some of my nasty money) to formulate a license that was
acceptable to both them and myself.  (If you think my license is
requires too much now, well, it could have been much, much worse --
and was until core and I came to an agreement about what was
reasonable.  8-) I can only assume that they thought about the
question of "which hurts more," and came to a decision.

This discussion doesn't belong on this list, and isn't really
appropriate anyway.  It is not your place to tell me how "horrible" I
am for using a certain license, or to attempt to pressure me into
changing my license.  I've no objection to people pointing out my
license, because it's well-known and public information, and I'm quite
comfortable with it.  However, I will not be villified for using it.

>From where I sit, your latest message (to which this replies)
contained nothing new.  I won't bother responding to the next one if
it doesn't either, so if it doesn't, save everybody the hassle and
don't bother sending it.