Subject: Re: what happened to the lm75(?) driver?
To: None <>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 09/13/1999 15:47:46
[ On Monday, September 13, 1999 at 15:04:16 (-0400), Charles M. Hannum wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: what happened to the lm75(?) driver?
> What TNFi wants to do is have the 3rd party contributors assign their
> copyrights to TNFi, and include in the TNFi `advertising' clause a
> reference to a complete list of such assigned contributions.  I.e.:
>  * 3. All advertising materials mentioning features or use of this software
>  *    must display the following acknowledgement:
>  *      This product includes software developed by the NetBSD Foundation,
>  *	Inc. and its contributors.  For a list of contributors, see:
>  *[...]
> The goal here was/is to provide a reference to all of the contributors
> any time a piece of NetBSD code is used anywhere, and not to burden
> third parties with 1000 different attributions.  This would seem to
> solve the various issues that people have voiced, and to actually
> provide *more* recognition.

That's all well and fine, for those willing to assign their copyrights.
However I'm not willing to do that, especially not for anything truly
significant (only patches, fixes, minor enhancements, pkgsrc modules,
etc. [which I'm more likely to continue to donate to the public domain
than assign to any one organisation like TNFi]).  Indeed as I've stated
my lm7x driver is somewhat of a test case for this issue and it seems to
be proving a successful one at that.

I still need the same terms met that I feel my own copyright offers.
Exactly how is TNFi willing to accomodate third party developers who
want to retain their own copyrights?  How is it that effectively
"forcing" developers to assign their rights in order to gain
acknowledgment is *not* at least a bit hypocritical?  You seem to want
to take away my ownership in order to give me acknowledgment.  You might
think that's a fair deal, but I don't -- I don't believe it protects my
rights and my code in the long run.  Note also that my copyright license
only gives up my right to control re-distribution and distribution of
derivative works and only under the stated terms -- *all* of my other
rights under copyright law are still reserved and these are equally
important to me.

I will almost instantly switch my copyright to any TNFi approved version
so long as my requirements are still met.  So far it seems as if
everyone opposed to my exact wording has been dancing around the issue
and not getting right at the meat of the matter.  Either accept my
wording as-is, or propose wording that would be accepted but that you
feel will still protect my rights as I've desired they be protected, or
*unanimously* turn me away as a potential contributor of significant

BTW, I hope for the sake of those assigning their copyrights to TNFi
that there's a binding contract entered into which will immediately void
the assignment should TNFi neglect their obligation to acknowledge the

> TNFi *cannot* enforce someone else's copyright.  The most TNFi can do
> in such a case is notify the copyright holder and the alleged violator
> that there appears to be a problem.  But TNFi does not have resources
> it can throw at monitoring every piece of software on the net.

That's why I suggested some sort of membership structure where fees
and donations could be collected for the express purpose of creating a
defense fund.  Maybe this isn't workable, maybe it's not practical, but
that's why we need to discuss this stuff openly, i.e. publicly.

It's also one of the reasons why I want to retain my own copyright on
any significant contribution -- I think have a much more likely chance
of successfully defending my own code as part of a compilation in a
larger context if I retain 100% ownership.  Assigning my copyright to
TNFi doesn't in itself make TNFi any more powerful or any more likely to
win a coypright dispute were it necessary for TNFi to defend what I have
contributed to them.  It may even do the opposite.

							Greg A. Woods

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