Subject: Re: copyright questions
To: Charles M. Hannum <>
From: Andrew Gillham <>
List: current-users
Date: 06/13/1997 18:00:06
Charles M. Hannum writes:
> But I digress a bit.
> The cases you're talking about are a little different, because the
> scope of the license terms is different.  E.g., if I'm publishing a
> CD-ROM, it's unlikely that the cover is going to mention a specific
> Ethernet driver, but it's very likely that it will mention that NetBSD
> runs on Alphas.  This is advertising material.  Given the license
> terms, even the original Berkeley license terms, this requires me to
> include the attribution for Chris, but *not* for you, somewhere on the
> cover.  Indeed, it's not clear that any of the vendors of NetBSD,

I appreciate your clarification Charles, but I believe your interpretation
is incorrect.  The text of the license is:

 * 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).

The problem is that this requires The Acknowledgment to be displayed
whenever "..., or any software, products or systems containing the
Software, are mentioned..."  This means that if I have a product
based on NetBSD, which includes the alpha port, or any code with
Chris' new copyright, merely mentioning *my* product means I have
to have Chris' Acknowledgment displayed.  It is not necessary *at all*
to mention any features covered by Chris' copyright to be required
to attribute.  So.. with the CDROM example, I would be required to
print The Acknowledgment regardless of whether I mentioned it ran
on the Alpha.  Therefore, if I submitted an ethernet driver with the
same license, I would be required to attribute that as well, even
though I don't mention it on the cover.  I can't believe that the
attributions for very many developers would fit on the front/back of

Perhaps I am misinterpreting the "...or any software, products or
systems containing..." line, but I don't see how it can be interpreted

Andrew Gillham                            | This space left blank                     | inadvertently.
I speak for myself, not for my employer.  | Contact the publisher.