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Re: [GENERAL] Misplaced modifier in Postgresql license

From: Richard Welty <rwelty(at)averillpark(dot)net>
To: pgsql-general(at)postgresql(dot)org
Cc: pgsql-admin(at)postgresql(dot)org, pgsql-bugs(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: [GENERAL] Misplaced modifier in Postgresql license
Date: 2003-11-28 21:50:40
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-adminpgsql-bugspgsql-general
On Fri, 28 Nov 2003 13:50:23 -0500 Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us> wrote:
> Breen Ouellette <the(dot)man(at)breeno(dot)net> writes:
> > The result of this ambiguity is that the
> > latest CD release of OpenBSD (3.4) no longer includes Postgresql
> We are not changing the license text we inherited from Berkeley.
> We do not have the right to, nor any interest in doing so.

but you can consult with the attorneys for the Regents. they have
changed the license at times, and have passed those changes on
to other BSD licensed projects (e.g., when they removed the
advertising clause the advertising clause was also removed from
all the code in the OpenBSD distribution that was inherited from
the original BSD project.)

> Our interpretation of the license is that it's okay for downstream
> redistributors to charge a fee.  We are not going to open the Pandora's
> box of "clarifying" the wording, however.  If you will not redistribute
> Postgres without a "clarification", that is your problem not ours.

i find this somewhat hostile response troubling.

it's common for geeks on the net to play at being lawyers, and it
is also common to discover later that the law doesn't work the way
the geeks want it to.

in the case of PostgreSQL's removal from the OpenBSD CDs, it
was done as part of an ongoing license audit -- and it is important
to note that it wasn't an uninformed decision. Theo actually consulted
with IP lawyers, and so there is some actual, direct legal advice
to the effect that the misplaced "without fee" clause is a potential

so in this case, Theo and the OpenBSD team aren't "playing
lawyer". they went to the trouble to actually talk to one.

if you go to the trouble to talk to the IP lawyers for the Regents,
you may find that you can easily get permission to migrate the
license to the current "BSD License".

Richard Welty                                         rwelty(at)averillpark(dot)net
Averill Park Networking                                         518-573-7592
    Java, PHP, PostgreSQL, Unix, Linux, IP Network Engineering, Security

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