Subject: Repairing the damage (was Re: History of the NetBSD Foundation)
To: Peter I. Hansen <>
From: Charles M. Hannum <mycroft@MIT.EDU>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 09/04/2006 12:35:20
On Mon, Sep 04, 2006 at 01:24:13AM +0200, Peter I. Hansen wrote:
> Please suggest a way to bring more democracy, and please give
> suggestions on how to repair the damage that you tell us has been
> done. 

Let me be clear on this.  We're talking about an organization that has:

1) come into existance through a coup d'etat, primarily by spreading
   outright lies about the legal status of the Foundation and making
   fraudulent filings with the State of Delaware.

2) repeatedly expanded the scope of its authority by grabbing power
   where it previously had none, and kicking people out, perverting the
   entire purpose and intent of the Foundation in the first place.

3) paid only lip service to being a "democracy," when in fact the entire
   process is secret.

4) "forced" people to sign Draconian agreements in order to continue
   contributing to the project.  (Did you read the bit about arbitrarily
   changing the agreement at any time?)

5) failed to promote the project in any significant way, instead
   allowing the user base to collapse.  (BTW, I have *many* pieces of
   email from former users and developers agreeing with my original

6) developed significant architectural changes completely in secret,
   the very antithesis of the open development process that is espoused.

7) decided to allow themselves to disband and take the code that all of
   us contributed for the benefit of the public into their own personal
   possession (which is both immoral and illegal).

This is not something that can just be "repaired."  That's like saying
you can fix Al Qeada from the inside.  It needs to be burned to the
ground -- and maybe started over.