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Re: [HACKERS] proposed improvements to PostgreSQL license

From: The Hermit Hacker <scrappy(at)hub(dot)org>
To: Thomas Lockhart <lockhart(at)alumni(dot)caltech(dot)edu>
Cc: chris(at)bitmead(dot)com, pgsql-general(at)postgresql(dot)org, PostgreSQL Hackers <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>, PostgreSQL Announce <pgsql-announce(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: [HACKERS] proposed improvements to PostgreSQL license
Date: 2000-07-04 02:41:29
Message-ID: Pine.BSF.4.21.0007032332500.833-100000@thelab.hub.org (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-announcepgsql-generalpgsql-hackers
On Tue, 4 Jul 2000, Thomas Lockhart wrote:

I'm not going to comment on those points that Thomas said that I do agree
with, since it could become a very long email ...

> > 6) This is a very US-centric view of the world. Most of the developers
> > are not in the US if the postgresql.org home page is correct. We don't
> > care about the stinkin UCITA, we are not bound by and don't care about
> > anything the State of Virginia may or may not say.
> 
> Good point. But the USA is the demon spawning ground for lawyers, and is
> at the leading edge of aggressive new legal territory. That may change
> eventually, but since 90+% of our federal legislative representatives
> are lawyers (stats from memory, but it is a *high* number), that may not
> change very quickly :(

Point 6 here is the one that prevents me from being able to back up this
change, and is the reason I'm against it.  PostgreSQL, for 3+ years, has
been a *Canadian* based project, yet now she's going to fall under US
laws?  The whole 'juristiction of Virginia' point puts me on the
"anti-changes" side of this issue ... and other then that point, (and
pending several more re-reads), I like the general wording of the
additions ...

> > 8) "To be integrated with the software in such a way that this license
> > must be seen before downloading can occur".
> > Umm, can all the laywers please just butt out? Every other open-source
> > package in the universe just relies on a licence file in the home
> > directory. You going to try and stop people downloading with clicking a
> > licence agreement? How you going to handle mirrors? Or are  you not
> > going to mirror any more? What about Red Hat el al?
> 
> Good point. Not exactly sure why this was suggested, but the American
> courts are *full* of cases where the plaintif said that they "didn't
> really know" something that should have been obvious.

Point 8 here I'm against also ... god, could you imagine having to "agree
to an open source license" each time you wanted to download it?  

> I (and *all* of the steering committee) had pretty much the same
> reaction as you did at first. But some of us are closer to the US legal
> system, and see what silliness it can generate, so came around to
> thinking that there was something to be gained by license additions.

First off, why are we trying to set a precedent here for the open source
community?  Have no other open source projects out there not looked at the
legal ramifications of their softare?  Why are we more special then, say,
Linux(GPL), FreeBSD(Standard BSD), MySQL(GPL), KDE(GPL), etc as far as
licensing is concerned?

Marc G. Fournier                   ICQ#7615664               IRC Nick: Scrappy
Systems Administrator @ hub.org 
primary: scrappy(at)hub(dot)org           secondary: scrappy(at){freebsd|postgresql}.org 



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