>-----Original Message-----
>From: Danny Pansters [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
>Sent: Wednesday, March 22, 2006 3:03 PM
>To: Ted Mittelstaedt
>Cc: freebsd-questions@freebsd.org
>Subject: Re: BSD License "Innocence" Clause Proposal
>Sorry, forgot this part..
>On Wednesday 22 March 2006 17:57, you wrote:
>> Nope.  The real BSD license gives copyrights to the University of
>> California, Berkeley.  Mainly for historical reasons because BSD
>> originated from there, but there is a legal reason also.  You see, if
>> I Ted Mittelstaedt release software copyright Ted Mittelstaedt, even
>> if I give everyone rights to use it, I still retain copyright and
>> later on I can change the terms of that copyright.  That is what the
>> courts have said I can do.  As a result of this, people, when they use
>> my work commercially they will need to get me to sign a piece
>of paper.
>> If I'm not reachable, that's kind of hard.  By giving the copyright
>If you use the copyright statement and then quote the (extra)
>provisions you
>have for distribution, as in
>Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
>modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions
>are met:
>[ acceptable conditions like attribution ]
>Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
>modification, are permitted.
>then they don't need you to sign anything, well, not for that
>code with those
>clauses. You are granting redistribution rights which are not
>granted by
>copyright itself, that's why there's a distribution license. I
>don't see the
>problem really.

The problem is that in reality 2 versions of the code exist,
both with your copyright.  One is the version that has the
redistribution right grant, the other is the version without.
In many cases of course the "one without" is merely a legal
fiction.  It is actually a lot more common to see this in GPL
code, for example mySQL is this way.

What happens 10 years from now when my company has used your
code in my product, and you get hit by a bus and your heirs come
out of the woodwork claiming I am infringing on your work and I
owe them money.  What if the software you wrote isn't available
with the unrestricted redistribution license on it anymore on any
public archive and I cannot cough up an expert witness to
testify in a court that you did in fact once release the code
as unrestricted?  Then it's my word against your heirs.  And
in the US courts always side with the copyright holder.

Before scoffing consider the case of these software packages:

MI/X   X-server for Windows
acitslpr   LPR daemon for Win98
winftp   FTP program for Windows - with source
WS FTP LE edition  FTP program for Windows
dimension 4 - ntp software for windows.
gated source  -bgp routing daemon
Ingres - database software

Every one of them came out originally as free to use software.
winftp in particular came out as free software plus source included,
under a BSD-like license.

Every one subsequently was taken commercial.  Some are still free for
home use but not for commercial use, and their authors
made extensive and strenuous efforts to find every archive site
on the Internet that had the original free-licensed copies and
threaten the maintainers to remove the software.  gated was free
while at Cornell, when Merit took it over they made it free for
non-commercial use but not free for commercial use, nowadays it's
only commercial.

Now, all of these packages have (fortunately) now been superseded.
But the point is that unless your code is immediately incorporated
in a large project with some history - like FreeBSD - it can get lost.

Think of all the ports in FreeBSD, the smaller ones come and go.
For example have you ever tried downloading the original free
bonnie source?  People still cite bonnie as a disk tester - but
the bonnie program you find today on a google search isn't the
same bonnie.

>> to the University, it assures any future entity that there will never
>> be any question of copyight rights to use the work since the UCB
>> obviously
>> isn't difficult to find, and is not likely to dry up and disappear.
>s/University/FSF and s/BSD/GPL and you have a heated debate :)
>> This is why FreeBSD is copyrighted The FreeBSD Project and
>> not the individual developers copyrights.

>That's certainly not the case for the code used in FreeBSD,
>only for the
>FreeBSD trademark I think. Look at a random file in src.

No, it really is.  Look at COPYRIGHT in /.


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