Subject: Re: copyright questions
To: Chris G. Demetriou <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Phil Knaack <email@example.com>
Date: 06/13/1997 13:38:43
Chris G. Demetriou writes:
>My point here is that there are already things mandating credit in
Yes. The difference is that yours is so much more encompassing
as to make the BSD copyright look like a toy in a Cracker Jack box.
And yes, you've said it before "its not that different," but yes, it
IS that different. The wording of your copyright allows you to say
at one point "credits in the source is enough" but two years later you
can go back and change your mind, reinterpreting those broad words,
and suing the ass off someone.
Yes, this hurts NetBSD. Because even tho we've been talking
about OpenBSD a lot, OpenBSD isn't the only system interested in alpha
ports that might want to look at your code. FreeBSD as an alpha port,
and so does Linux. This copyright scares the willies out of me, and
I'm not even a developer. Just imagine what other systems might be
thinking. FreeBSD and OpenBSD have probably resolved to never
integrate code from you ever again. Good luck, you've totally ruined
any chance of relations with either of them for all time.
Yes, your copyright just begs someone to use your code and then
piss you off, allowing you to suddenly find some little place where that
someone either forgot to place your name or didn't want to due because
its unrealistic, and .. boom. Lawsuit. And all because the wording of
your copyright allows YOU to be the sole judge of just what exactly
"all media" and "all communications" mean.
It is as simple as that. You claim you made it more explicit
and refined the definitions of the BSD copyright. But you also introduced
this gray area that gives you a lot of previously unavailable freedom.
And at the same time, because of the wording, you can still defend it
in public with a straight face.
Phillip F Knaack
Systems Administrator, Information Development for Extension Audiences (IDEA)
Iowa State University Extension