Subject: Re: ipf's future
To: Aaron J. Grier <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Greg A. Woods <email@example.com>
Date: 06/29/2001 16:53:41
[ On Friday, June 29, 2001 at 13:20:21 (-0700), Aaron J. Grier wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: ipf's future
> where can I find a copy of this document? the dist/ipf/LICENSE in CVS
> is over a year old.
Something some people, including perhaps some in TNF, have apparrently
failed to realise about Darren's original license, is that for all
intents and purposes, w.r.t. NetBSD at least, it doesn't really doesn't
matter if the license explicitly provides for redistribution of modified
versions, or not.
Under copyright law NetBSD is considered to be a collective work. In
making modifications to its component works (to facilitate their
integration, or to fix bugs, etc.) it would seem to me that NetBSD only
makes "fair use" of those component works. Software, in this scenario,
MUST be treated different from something more artistically focused, such
as poetry, even freely redistributable poetry. A poet such as
e.e.cumings would be rightfully upset if you capitalised all his works
in a collective publication (if he were still alive, that is! ;-),
regardless of what other of his rights you might have usurped. However,
except in special cases, bugs in software probably can't be considered
to be an important attribute of the programmer's writing! :-)
As such all of NetBSD remains freely redistributable, as a whole,
including the modified IP-Filter component.
NetBSD doesn't even violate the obvious intent of Darren's license since
it makes all localised changes clearly visible in an anonymously
accessible public CVS repository. (Unlike how NetBSD's collective
copyright license may in fact violate the GPL.)
The only thing Darren's original license prohibits (under the most
strict interpretation possible) is the extraction of the modified IP
Filter sources from NetBSD and the creation of a new stand-alone IP
Filter distribution from those extracted sources (with or without
further changes). Why anyone would even feel this is necessary is
Note that any third-party user (in the copyright sense) of NetBSD is
free to separately obtain IP-Filter, under a separate license or the
same license, and again make "fair use" of it by re-integrating it into
NetBSD or into something else (with or without NetBSD's changes), and
create a new collective work that's still freely redistributable.
NetBSD does claim copyright on their changes, but their copyright
permits free redistribution with or without modification.
All that's really necessary to keep everyone happy is that the various
notices and disclaimers be kept in all the necessary places.
In other words Darren's been 101% right, from the beginning.
All you people who've been making mis-informed statements and decisions
based on your own personal interpration of Darren's license, or one you
gleaned without sufficient analysis from some similarly mis-informed
source, should go fly a kite! ;-)
(mandatory lawyer-like disclaimer: IANAL either, but.... :-)
Greg A. Woods
+1 416 218-0098 VE3TCP <firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com>
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