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DragonFly kernel List (threaded) for 2004-10
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Re: dragonfly license

From: "George Georgalis" <george@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 1 Oct 2004 22:54:32 -0400

On Fri, Oct 01, 2004 at 11:23:24AM -0700, Matthew Dillon wrote:
>:I'm writing some code that I'd like to apply a 'BSD' license to.
>:I found the dragonfly copyright in cvs, which I could apply; however
>:there is no simple instructions to reference it like I can for GNU, ie:
>: DragonFlyBSD License (c) 2004, George Georgalis
>:Is this silly? Should I just use FreeBSD license or copy the DFly
>:// George
>    It's not silly, but it does point out a serious flaw with GNU.  In
>    recent years GNU has tried to create a 'floating' copyright.  That is,
>    one where the code simply references some ephermal standard gnu copyright
>    residing somewhere outside the file being copyrighten.
>    This is very dangerous, because there is no court precedent for allowing
>    a published work's copyright to change after the fact and no way to
>    determine, short of recording an exact date and version (and hoping that
>    the version is properly updated on the site), which copyright the source
>    actually refers to.
>    Because of this and also because of the potential for the copyright
>    statement to be 'lost', the BSD community has generally decided to
>    include the whole copyright statement and license in each source file,
>    and that is what we do too.
>    If you want to use a short form, and take the risk, best bet is to
>    control the location of your copyright by publishing it on your own web
>    site, or perhaps there is an open-source web site where you can publish
>    it, and then referencing the URL in the source code as part of your
>    copyright statement in the source code.  Just remember, though, your
>    code will be 'out there' on the internet forever.  Your URL may not be.
>						-Matt

For a concept that's easy to understand, "BSD license," adding 152 lines
to code that may be well under that is irksome (especially when it is
not necessarily even derived). I'm inclined to reference a url with the
caveat the license is revoked if the original is lost/unverified -- not
to be spiteful tomorrow, but convenient today.

What about new DFly code that's not derived from old BSD? is there a
prevision to integrate a new copyright with no historical reference?
I like the idea of referencing a specific vs floating copyright but
bringing in the historical aspect of BSD copyright for new material
seems, well, inaccurate.

// George

George Georgalis, systems architect, administrator Linux BSD IXOYE
http://galis.org/george/ cell:646-331-2027 mailto:george@xxxxxxxxx

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