Subject: Re: Last chance: Copyrights is OK ?
To: NetBSD Kernel Technical Discussion List <>
From: Chris G. Demetriou <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 03/08/1999 16:52:19 (Greg A. Woods) writes:
> If TNF is seriously thinking of *requiring* all new work to be assigned
> to themselves then they're only cutting off the hands that feed them.

Who feeds them?  sure, individual contributors do.

but so do organizations that want to use the project's source and
build products (or even non-product, free, distributions) from it.

in fact, i'd say that the latter represents a large source of
contributions, because it pays (and has paid) a lot of NetBSD hackers
to spend time hacking NetBSD and contributing back changes (and other

This wacko proliferation of licenses (and yes, i know bloody well that
i've been on both sides of the issue... the question is who am i
representing, myself and my personal interests, or the interests of an
organization who might want to use the code 8-) means that
organizations that want to ship binaries and source based on NetBSD
_and_ "do the right thing" by the license(s) must spend literally
weeks or more accumulating the various licenses in the tree, examining
them, and doing what it takes to satisfy them.

Of course, the "wrong thing" -- leaving the organization open to legal
challenge if somebody gets annoyed -- is to just ignore them all and
ship the code without attributions(*), without notice in
documentation.  Lots of organizations take this risk, but they should
not have to if the project is doing its job w.r.t. encouraging them as
users and contributors.

* note, however, that this problem is not new as of NetBSD or the
other free BSD systems.  There exist plenty of companies out there
that ignore the even the stock Berkeley terms covering, say, the
netinet sources...  However, that is completely indefensible; it's
just one license.  on the other hand, the requirements to meet to
distribute the whole NetBSD source tree are ridiculous.  for a 1.3-ish
system, the accumulation of unique licenses totals out at around 
_18000_ lines, over 700KB!!!

Chris Demetriou - -
Disclaimer: Not speaking for NetBSD, just expressing my own opinion.