Subject: Re: [Frank da Cruz : Re: Kermit and NetBSD]
To: Frank da Cruz <>
From: Andrew Gillham <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 11/23/1999 06:52:03
Frank da Cruz writes:
> > 
> If they used Kermit in their product; if they didn't, they could remove it.

This can be a hassle for them.

> 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 believe part of this is that the "end user" is not the only target for
NetBSD.  Adding a license that is only useful to and end user reduces the
available options.

From a NetBSD user standpoint, I believe that the goal is to reduce the
number of "oddball" licenses in the NetBSD distribution, with the ultimate
goal of the entire base being under the NetBSD Foundation copyright.
While this doesn't directly affect the packages, it would be silly to get
the base under a unified copyright, yet have highly restrictive licenses
shipping on the same CDROM.

At some point it should be possible to download the NetBSD x.y ISO from
the net, and produce your own CDs for resale.  

> 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.

Perhaps many users, but probably not most.  Personally I don't use C-Kermit
now, and don't have any future plans to.  Mostly because I haven't need it
yet. :-)  Still, I prefer to use non-restrictive software.  I have a "test"
machine at work, and even though my company doesn't necessarily get any
commercial benefit from my using this machine, I can't use many software
packages on it.  This is because of the "no commercial use" clauses.  As I
prefer to not become dependent on a software package at home, that I then
can't use at work, I try to avoid these restricted packages.

So I guess what I am saying is that from a NetBSD user's perspective, I
would hate to see some kind of "single level use" license change to a
"restricted" package, just to allow it on the NetBSD CDROM.  (and to have
the license become restricted again for the next person/level)

Andrew Gillham                            | This space left blank                     | inadvertently.
I speak for myself, not for my employer.  | Contact the publisher.