Subject: Re: Licensing constraints...?????
To: Giles Lean <>
From: Bill Studenmund <>
List: current-users
Date: 08/28/1997 11:03:01
On Thu, 28 Aug 1997, Giles Lean wrote:

> On Thu, 28 Aug 1997 00:45:21 -0700 (PDT)  William Coldwell wrote:
> > To the best of my knowledge, this issue has been resolved, and anonymous
> > ftp access has been restored.  CTM access has been revoked though, as this
> > violates licensing terms of many of the contributors to NetBSD.
> It has been *claimed* that a CTM distribution of the NetBSD source
> tree violates some of the license terms of files in that tree.
> The legal merit of that claim is unclear, however Bill's swift
> action to avoid potential legal entanglements and to preserve the
> co-operative spirit of NetBSD development is to be commended.

> I do not intend to take further part in any public discussion of
> this issue, aside from any announcements about variation of the
> existing CTM service.

Giles, I'm replying to your message as I deleted most of the thread, and
then realized I wanted to add a thought.

As I gather, the problem is that someone could subscribe to the CTM
service and get diffs withouth actually having the underlying file (and
thus the original license).

I must admit that I can see that's a problem. Though since CTM is an
UPDATE service, I think you'd be in a weak position if you subscribed w/o
having the original work, and then tried to use that code as being

I like the idea of the CTM service (you just get EMail with the diffs,
rather than having to sup a whole file). Is there a way we can fix it to
address these concerns?

I see two possable problems. 1) certain licenses might not allow CTM
service at all. 2) there might be concerns that CTM could totally get
around licensing.

We can't do anything about the first problem (other than ask the author to
change the license). Can we do somthing about the second?

How about:

1) CTM gets billed as an UPDATE service, and that you are supposed to have
(and are bound by licensing restrictions there of) the original files.

2) As part of the subscription to CTM, you are sent an agreement form
which says that you have the original files, and that you agree to abide
by the licenses they contain.

3) Every CTM mailing has messages (a stock header?) reminding the
recipient that the message contains UPDATES to copyrighten code, and that
the recipient, in subscribing to the service, agreed to abide by and be
subject to the licenses even though they are not in the message. 


Take care,