distrubuting distro

Erik Trulsson ertr1013 at student.uu.se
Wed Feb 2 07:21:40 PST 2005

On Wed, Feb 02, 2005 at 08:03:12AM -0600, Nikolas Britton wrote:
> Erik Trulsson wrote:
> >On Wed, Feb 02, 2005 at 07:11:36AM -0600, Nikolas Britton wrote:
> > 
> >
> >>Nikolas Britton wrote:
> >>
> >>   
> >>
> >>>Erik Trulsson wrote:
> >>>
> >>>     
> >>>
> >>>>But remember that several parts of FreeBSD are covered by the GNU
> >>>>GPL which has somewhat more restrictions (mainly in that (slightly
> >>>>simplified) you need to include the sourcecode for anything you
> >>>>distribute.)
> >>>>
> >>>>In either case it is certainly allowed to sell FreeBSD and charge
> >>>>whatever you want.  You just can't prevent anybody making further
> >>>>copies once they have recieved one.
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>       
> >>>>
> >>>If there was no GPL code in FreeBSD he could prevent anybody from 
> >>>making copys of his copys, as long as he keeps the BSD copyright 
> >>>notices in there etc he can do anything he wants with it, ANYTHING! 
> >>>For example the Windows NT network stack was ripped from OpenBSD et. 
> >>>al. Now if you ask me if it's a sane thing to do I'd say no because 
> >>>they can just go around him and get it from the FreeBSD site. but the 
> >>>point I'm trying to make is that he could if he wanted to, even if 
> >>>it's a stupid idea such as this, because FreeBSD IS "free", unlike the 
> >>>GPL.
> >>>
> >>>     
> >>>
> >>duh, I forgot the best example. BSD running on a mach kernel running a 
> >>custom user interface, otherwise known as Mac OS-X.
> >>   
> >>
> >
> >With the "BSD running on a mach kernel" part also known as Darwim,
> >which is freely distributable under pretty much the same conditions as
> >the other BSDs.
> >
> >
> > 
> >
> Yep, but they did not have to do that. It was a gesture of giving back 
> to the community that which they took from it. You would have to be 
> morally corrupt to take other peoples life work and not think you should 
> give something back to them, even if it is free and has no strings attached.

If, as you imply, there is a moral requirement to "give something back
to them", then there are strings attached even if the strings are not
legally enforcible.
Personally I would not have considered Apple morally corrupt even if
they had kept all of MacOS X has proprietary and binary-only, any more
than I consider Sun morally corrupt just because they took BSD-code and
changed it into SunOS (or BSDi for doing the same with BSD/OS.)

Also keep in mind that "open source" and "freely distributable" are
*not* the same thing.  
BSD-licensed code that is part of another project is always freely
distributable, but might not have source available.
(It can of course be very difficult to determine exactly which code is
BSD-licensed and which is not in a binary file.)

> Umm and about BSD in windows. It is in there, open the binary network 
> (ping, ftp, telnet, finger, etc.) commands in a text editor and you can 
> view the BSD copyright notices.

Yes, I know, but the earlier comments concerned the network stack, not
the client programs.

> also SFU (services for unix) version 3.5 
> was almost an entire rip of OpenBSD, and no thay did not give any kick 
> backs to the community.

The BSD license says that they are allowed do that.  *If* the people
who wrote the BSD code thinks that Microsoft (et al) should not have
taken BSD-licensed code and incorporated it into proprietary products
then they should have used another license for the code (like the GPL
which is designed to prevent exactly such behaviour.)

Microsoft has done many things that are morally and/or legally dubious
(if not outright wrong.)  The use of BSD-licensed code is not one of

<Insert your favourite quote here.>
Erik Trulsson
ertr1013 at student.uu.se

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