Subject: Re: [Frank da Cruz : Re: Kermit and
To: Bill Sommerfeld <>
From: Frank da Cruz <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 11/23/1999 11:28:07
> [Again, I'm just expressing my opinions here, not expressing the
> official views of the Project].
> One question of interest for me is whether the folks building the
> mmEye ( or similar devices would have to
> negotiate a special license with columbia to include a kermit binary
> and source with the netbsd-derived system they sell for their
> multimedia server hardware product.
If they used Kermit in their product; if they didn't, they could remove it.

> If so, kermit sources and binaries are not open source and should not
> be included in the "official" NetBSD distribution CD's.
> Because of the possible confusion it may entail, I don't think we want
> to put up for FTP anything which can't be repackaged and redistributed
> by anyone else.
It's your distribution and you make the rules.  I would only comment that a
rule like this might not be in everybody's best interest, and therefore some
of the other "free Unix" distributions handle this situation in some way,
like putting packages that have "interesting" licenses in some special place
where the end user can enter with open eyes, or simply warning them to read
copyright notices before assuming that any particular package can be resold
or whatever.  They do this now for packages other than Kermit.

I think most NetBSD users would like to have C-Kermit (and other popular
packages with "free for noncommercial use" licenses) included for their own
use, preconfigured and ready to go.  The question is whether this is more
important than the freedom of companies to resell other people's software
without bothering to check its status.

- Frank

P.S. About patches -- yes, thanks; I received them and will incorporate
any that are not incorporated in version 7.0 already.