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Re: [HACKERS] Re: Copyright

From: The Hermit Hacker <scrappy(at)hub(dot)org>
To: Don Baccus <dhogaza(at)pacifier(dot)com>
Cc: Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>, bruc(at)acm(dot)org, pgsql-hackers(at)postgreSQL(dot)org
Subject: Re: [HACKERS] Re: Copyright
Date: 2000-01-29 16:51:27
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-hackers
On Fri, 28 Jan 2000, Don Baccus wrote:

> At 12:52 AM 1/29/00 -0500, Tom Lane wrote:
> >As long as those terms don't change, adding PostgreSQL Inc (or
> >PostgreSQL Nonprofit Copyright Holding Corporation, or anything else)
> >to the copyright notices doesn't really change anything, except for
> >adding one more line to the boilerplate notice that people aren't
> >supposed to strip out of their copies. 
> I think this is the concern (not mine, raised by others) - what
> guarantee is there that PG, Inc couldn't change the terms if 
> (say) a new disease cropped up that killed all believers in Open
> Source? :)  (yes intentionally silly).

Simple answer: the developers all go off with source code at the time that
PostgreSQL, Inc changes those terms and continues off where they left off
... IMHO, that is the nice thing about Open Source ... look at the
FreeBSD/OpenBSD/NetBSD camps ... developers A became unhappy with politics
in camp A so formed camp B and went on their merry way ... all three are
equally successful...

The same thing applies to Linux ... how many different distributions and
philosophies are out there now?  

You are right, PostgreSQL, Inc could go out, change the license on the
code "from this day forth", but that doesn't stop developers to branch off
a new code base based upon the license of "the day before" and totally
leaving PostgreSQL, Inc in the dust ...

> This could be really simple to fix in legal terms.  With a not
> for profit, distribution and development of a free and unencumbered
> system could probably be incorporated into the bylaws and this may
> be why the Apache Foundation was formed.  It's harder with companies,
> which by definition are formed to be profitable and indeed in the
> eyes of the IRS are supposed to strive for that goal (though there
> is no need to succeed).

> So...maybe "Inc" isn't the right long-term shape of the entity?
> Personally, I don't think anyone should be terribly concerned about
> this.  But I can see how some, especially folks who aren't US
> citizens and perhaps don't know much about the realities of all this
> in US law, could become concerned.

Ummm...PostgreSQL, Inc isn't a US company...*technically*, like OpenBSD,
PostgreSQL is a Canadian Open Source Project, as its development is based
in Canada ... which has this neat little advantage that OpenBSD has taken
advantage of, but we haven't yet: we can add stuff like SSL encryption
directly into the source code and distribute it legally...

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

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