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[20051028] More software license fun (Update #2)
I've received a few answers to my inquiries about yesterday's software license hickup:

  • From ISC (where the license comes originally from), Paul Vixie promptly acknoledged the problem, and apparently an update will be made on their license
  • Groklaw's Pamela Jones mentioned that there is an issue, but of minor importance as the original copyright holder still can point at the disclaimer he included. As Chris Hopps pointed out in private communication, the only party that may probably be hurt is the one removing the license when passing on. A different issue would also be license proliferation, leading to many "weak" licenses instead of one "strong" license - I tend to agree.
  • One reply I got from OpenBSD (which use the ISC license) was sent by Theo deRaadt, which was accusing me of not understanding the issue at hands and that I just want to play a game. And that this is why NetBSD still uses restrictive licenses (hu??) and that I should please never send him mail again. (Funny note aside: I didn't write with my NetBSD mail address, and didn't mention that with a single word in my mail).
  • Todd Miller, also from OpenBSD, wrote a much nicer mail, confirming the issue, and that they also looked at the MIT license.
  • Thorsten Glaser, driving force between MirOS, an OpenBSD-spinoff, let me know that he removed the copyright template completely from their source tree.
In summary, I found it very interesting to discover this nit, and communicate with various parties about the issues involved, even if some of them cannot be dealt with in a civilized manner. Most of them were a joy to work with! Maybe a good preparation for a second career ... :)

Update #1: It seems the MIT/X11 license, which served as an example for the ISC license also has the problem. Whom to contact @ X.org?

Update #2: MirOS has only removed the copyright template, and of course not the copyright on the individual files. Doh!

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