Subject: Re: [Frank da Cruz : Re: Kermit and NetBSD]
To: Frank da Cruz <>
From: Andrew Gillham <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 11/23/1999 08:31:28
Frank da Cruz writes:
> They're making money, they deserve to do a little work.

According to you at least, yes.  Again, I'm not sure this is the general
direction for NetBSD. (and being a _user_, I can't speak for it really)

> "Highly restrictive" might be overstating the case, but as we all know from
> watching the licensing wars on the newsgroups, there is a multiplicity of
> licenses, and of opinions about each one.  People (end users, companies)
> have to learn to live in this world of diversity.  Why should it be our
> concern to shield them from it?

Apologies, it is highly restrictive in the context of reselling CDROMs or
NetBSD complilations, in my opinion.

> If you have permission to use some software, why refuse to use it because
> somebody else might to be allowed to sell it?  I don't understand the
> rationale behind this.  Why are people who sell other people's work the main
> focus of concern?

I am (perhaps incorrectly) lumping C-Kermit in with the other "restricted"
(in NetBSD package terms) licenses.  In the specific case of C-Kermit, my
concerns with "non-commercial use" do not precisely apply.  So perhaps I
am being overly zealous, and should analyze each individual license myself
rather than just sticking with "unrestricted" packages.

> I think you misunderstand -- companies can use C-Kermit internally all they
> want.  They can even put it up on their servers for customers to use.  What
> they can NOT do without permission is commoditize it -- furnish it to their
> customers or clients in a commercial setting.  To us, it's not a matter of
> ideology or principal, but one of practicality in our situation.

As I mentioned above, I am lumping C-Kermit into the general case.  In this
specific instance I could use it, if I wished, but it still suffers from
the restrictions that affect CDROMs or other forms of distribution.

> Right, this is your decision.  Personally, if I were creating some kind of
> commercial product to sell, and I wanted to include some third-party
> software in it, I would not mind asking for permission and even paying for
> it if the price was right.  I certainly would not feel it was my absolute
> right to sell the work of others.  This is just common human courtesy and
> respect.

I would not feel that way either.  From a NetBSD user's perspective I prefer
having a limited set of licenses that apply to a NetBSD distribution.
If a friend or coworker wants a copy of NetBSD, I can download/create a ISO
image, burn a CD, and "sell" it to them for the cost of the blank. (US$1)
With C-Kermit (and similarly licensed software) on the CD, I would be
violating the copyright license terms. (as I understand them)

Regardless, it is not for me to decide.

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