Drop of portindex

Mike Edenfield kutulu at kutulu.org
Wed Sep 15 17:37:32 PDT 2004

Glenn Sieb wrote:
> Mike Edenfield said the following on 9/15/2004 8:26 PM:
>> Of course, the author clearly doesn't want his software distributed, 
>> so it would (IMO) violate the spirit of community software development 
>> to go against his wishes, but the legal footing for the package is 
>> pretty confusing.
> I'd be more concerned with what else he's planning on contributing and 
> yanking back when it gets "too popular."
> Didn't he mention working on writable ufs2 snapshots? What would happen 
> to his contributed code should he decide to pull a "portindex" again? :-/

The solution, based on past experience, is to demand a 
clarified copyright license up front.  Either the author 
uses a license you are ok with, or you avoid using the 
software.  It's an author's right, as unpopular as it may 
be, to change licensing terms whenever he or she wants.

Of course, I think it should be pointed out that people who 
*already have* copies of portindex shouldn't rush to 
uninstall it because copyright permission has been revoked. 
    If the copies were made beforehand, it's very clear that 
the author knowingly and willingly allowed (even actively 
assisted in) making copies of the software for FreeBSD 
users.  I suspect that results in some sort of very limited 
implicit license: if I put a stack of articles I wrote on my 
front lawn with a big sign saying "Take One" I can't exactly 
complain when people take one.  Even if the author seemed to 
want to go around trying to revoke rights to all those 
copies, I'm not entire sure he would have much luck unless 
*new* copies were being made.


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