Subject: Re: Last chance: Copyrights is OK ?
To: tech kern NetBSD <>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 03/08/1999 15:32:42
[ On Monday, March 8, 1999 at 10:33:40 (-0800), Bill Studenmund wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: Last chance: Copyrights is OK ?
> > * 2. Redistributions in binary form must reproduce this entire
> > * copyright notice, the following disclaimer, without alteration, in
> > * the documentation and/or other materials provided with the
> > * distribution.
> I think this restriction is a hassle. It means that we have to stick the
> whole message in the release notes, whereas now all we have to do
> typically is say, "This product contains software developed by XXX." I
> think these copyrights are verbose in general (not just this one :-), and
> to have to stick one in the release notes is ugly.

I wouldn't go so far as to require the notice appear in the release
notes (though that's one possible and obvious place to put such
notices), and I had hoped the wording made this clear.  I now realize
that there really isn't currently a truly suitable place in the
distribution for a collection of such notices.

I had been thinking that /usr/src/etc/COPYRIGHT should contain the
complete text of all unique copyrights in the code and that this file be
installed in /etc (or even /? ;-) (perhaps it is a bug that it is not
installed?), as well as included in the distribution, perhaps adjacent
to the INSTALL document (in each architecture sub-directory).  Of course
then there's the hassle of maintaining such a file, though that might
impress upon people that some thought needs to be put into even tiny
content changes of copyright notices.  Such a file would also be printed
as an appendix to printed release notes, I think, just as the printed
BSDi BSD/OS 1.1 release notes I have contains.

Strictly speaking so long as the base distribution of NetBSD includes
the header files then I think merely leaving the copyright notice in the
appropriate header file(s) [as is required] will meet my personal
requirement to have the copyright available to users of binary-only
distributions.  [and that's about the level of prominence it deserves]

Perhaps there some way I could re-write this clause to more explicitly
say that the entire notice must appear at least *somewhere* in all
binary distributions.  Perhaps it is a bit presumptuous of me to require
the notice also appear in materials accompanying a binary distribution
when there's no such collection of notices already present.  Perhaps
though this will spur the releng group to make such a collection though!  ;-)

> Greg, given that no one can use your name for endorsements, why are you
> concerned that the disclamer goes in the notes? Has someone sued you or
> something?

I'm more concerned that the entire notice go verbatim *into* a binary
distribution somehow and be available to users without requiring they
hunt for it, but I don't need to have my name splattered on the boot-up
messages, or in the first few pages of printed release notes, or even in
the "Legal Mumbo-jumbo" section of the INSTALL document.

Nobody's sued me or anything like that -- I'd just prefer that my name
not to be used in any marketing material.  I want my name to appear in
the product (and only in some place where it is no more prominent than
my contribution), but not necessarily in the advertisments.

Indeed if somehow my contributions became significant enough to become a
selling point then anyone doing serious marketing might have more to
offer me than mere mention.  I've added the limitation against use in
advertising so that I can negotiate unique licenses to meet the
circumstances (eg. I would give TNF rights to use my name for free, but
I woudn't necessarily do the same for Walnut Creek or Red Hat).  Of
course this part is still "True-Blue Sky Dreaming(TM!)".  :-)

							Greg A. Woods

+1 416 218-0098      VE3TCP      <>      <robohack!woods>
Planix, Inc. <>; Secrets of the Weird <>