Subject: Re: copyright questions
To: Ted Lemon <>
From: Jim Wise <>
List: current-users
Date: 06/13/1997 22:52:35
On Fri, 13 Jun 1997, Ted Lemon wrote:

> > Not at all.  The point is simple:  A change this large in the license
> > terms of the code we all use should have been raised on the mailing
> > lists before being accepted in the tree.
> This is not a large change.

That is an opinion about which it is evident that there is much
disagreement. That is why this discussion is necessary, and why, IMHO,
it should have taken place before the license changes took effect.

> So you're saying that even though, as is self-evident, the only result
> of discussion on this topic will be flamage, core should still bring
> it up before making a decision.   That makes absolutely no sense to me
> at all.

It is not correct that the only result of this discussion has been
flamage.  If you will look through today's messages, you will see that a
lot of clarification as to the purpose and effect of the license changes
has occurred, and a lot of points have been raised both for and against
the change.  This is the exact reason why the change should have been
discussed prior to its taking effect, and whether Core decided rightly
or not, they could have benefited from today's discussion.  If you are
suggesting that no issue should be raised on current-users which could
result in disagreement, then I, for one, fail to see the point of this
list at all.  The reason that NetBSD has always been so far ahead of the
vendor OS's on so many fronts has always been the close communication
(often the identity) of the user and developer communities.

> You do make one point that I think is valid - that at some time, Core
> should have announced this copyright, since its terms are a bit
> different than we're accustomed to.  However, the right time to do
> that probably would have been with the 1.3 release.  Since Thomas
> brought it up before the release, we can never know for sure whether
> or not core would have done the right thing here.

Unfortunately, this would have meant that the license would have been
_in_effect_ for a considerable time before it was announced.  In point
of fact, it is only in discussion now because Thomas noticed
the changes on his own, after they had been silently introduced into the

> Having tipped back a few beers with various NetBSDers in the past
> year or so, though, I can say that they have been planning to come up
> with a comprehensive COPYRIGHT file for quite some time that listed
> all the contributors and their copyrights.   So it is my belief that
> had Thomas not brought this up, it would have been addressed in due
> time anyway.

I think the most positive thing to come out of this discussion is a
strong agreement that such documentation (and perhaps a forum for the
discussion thereof) is necessary.

				Jim Wise