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IPF License Change: Redistribution Not Allowed

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the hug-your-local-gpl-coder dept.

BSD 117

An Anonymous Coward writes: "I found this at SecurityPortal, here. I use IPF and I noticed last week in the snapshot the license changed: 'Yes, this means that derivitive or modified works are not permitted without the author's prior consent.' which was kind of bad since it violated OpenSource guidelines. Now the current snapshot of IPF says 'Redistribution is not permitted' which completely violates any Open Source style license. Does this mean IPF will have to fork an older version or someone needs to write a completely new version for all the BSD's/Solaris/etc?" The old license certainly doesn't read this way to me, but IPF author Darren Reed asserts this is only a clarification of the license, not an actual change. Another ssh vs. OpenSSH? More coverage at LWN, partway down the page.

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117 comments

Re:I'm sorry.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#193868)

When you buy a painting you receive a fee simple [iown.com] title to it and you can do with it as you like. When you use IPF you are using it under license and to be legal you must abide by the terms of that license which, in this case, says you may not modify the code.

Re:Lets see here. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#193869)

I certainly should take a five-minute walk before writing this but I'm too angry to do that.

I have GPL:ed just about all programs that I've written, but idiots like you seriously make me consider stopping that.

Now, read slowly: the original licence did not give you a right to modify the code. It didn't mention the subject at all. I don't know how it is in your fairyland, but in the real world this means that you have permission to do only what is explicitly allowed by the "fair use" clauses of the copyright laws. Modifying and distributing the code doesn't fall under "fair use", and doesn't get even close.

No, try to get into your thick head that "Open Source" is not a right. On the contrary, a programmer has the right to choose any licence, including one of those that you don't like. If you don't like it, don't use the software. It is that simple.

Re:Already been here... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#193870)

What about the license is ambiguous, with regard to copyright law? The word "use"? In his license, it clearly is NOT ambiguous. The word "use" does not grant you all rights.

Copyright law grants the author exclusive rights. Unless he gives you those rights, he retains them. The license is clearly giving distribution and copying of the original source.

If you are confused about this, compare his license to a BSD license. Note the lack of the words "modify" (as in the BSD license) and "derived" or "derivative" in his license.

Re:Ambiguity works against the author (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#193871)

You are definitely not a lawyer. You also have not even read the most rudimentary basics of copyright law.

Amiguity of language does not apply here when law in question is otherwise clear. Ambiguity only plays a part when there is nothing else to refer to in order to make a decision of the validity of a complaint. However, here, we are dealing not only with contract law but with a license which falls under copyright laws.

And copyright law is very clear. The law GIVES authors exclusive rights. Unless those rights are explicitly transferred, the author RETAINS those rights. Ever see "All rights reserved" in a copyright? It was a phrase, still included in contracts today, to make it clear the author retains the rights not specified in a license. That said, it is a phrase that is NO LONGER NEEDED anymore.

Under current law, the rights on non-visual works include the right to distribute, copy, and modify (also known as derived works). IPFilter has a copyright statement, which removes any question that the author intended his work to have copyright protection. The license under IPFilter clearly states that the user may only copy and distribute the binary and source code.

The words modify, dervivative, or derived works were not used. That means, under copyright law, because the law GIVES the author rights, the author NEVER handed over those rights to the user of the software. He cannot give those rights away unless he says so.

Oh, and the word "use" is used correctly. Remember, the layman's interpretation of "use" is not the same as the legal implications. While you and I might read his license and think that we may modify the source code, he uses the word correctly. We may not, without his permission.

Re:Lets see here. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#193872)

Utter BULL. Compare his non-beta license with ALL previous licenses. If you did, you realized that he did NOT change his license. I'm not sure where the hell you get the idea that he did--run a diff for heaven's sake. You won't find it.

The license does not have to FORBID you from doing something. Copyright law GIVES the author rights, rights that only he may only give up clearly and specificly. The license does NOT give up those rights granted to him.

Your crap is like saying a person arrested gives up the right to a lawyer if that person does not ask for a lawyer. Bull. The accused has the right to a lawyer until he waives it.

Similarly here, the copyright holder is given rights as the author immediately when he publicly releases a work (even without a copyright notice). Until he gives up those rights himself, you can NOT assume that he has under copyright law. Before 1976, maybe you could--that is why you may see "All Rights Reserved" in copyright agreements, a holdover from the time when it was necessary to clarify that the author retains rights not touched on in a license. But today, those words are NOT needed.

Dammit, get a clue before you comment on this. You really don't know what the heck you are talking about.

Once again slashdot panics without the facts... (5)

ryder (111) | more than 12 years ago | (#193873)

This license applies only to certain test releases releases etc, that the author posts for testing purposes doesn't want in general distribution.

Information from Darren Reed on this appears at this URL:
http://false.net/ipfilter/2001_05/0458.html

Link to above URL [false.net]

What's really happening... (2)

GreenPickles (2275) | more than 12 years ago | (#193875)

Want to see what's really going on? Visit This thread [deadly.org]. Darren Reed (the author of IPF) has been poking his head in there. It's not a pretty sight either. Unfortunatly. Intreped (a poster) has made some intelligent commentary about the copyright law / policy near the bottom.

Re:noone ever mentions cygwin? (1)

RelliK (4466) | more than 12 years ago | (#193876)

Perhaps, but do they try to retroactively change the license? This is the real issue here.
___

Re:What if I contributed code? (1)

RelliK (4466) | more than 12 years ago | (#193877)

Say for example Linus decided to make something proprietary with Linux. As the original author, he's got the right to relicense the code, right?

Ahem, I don't want to be insulting, but from the same page:

Can the developer of a program who distributed it under the GPL later license it to another party for exclusive use?

No, because the public already has the right to use the program under the GPL, and this right cannot be withdrawn. Can the developer of a program who distributed it under the GPL later license it to another party for exclusive use? No, because the public already has the right to use the program under the GPL, and this right cannot be withdrawn.

So, to answer your question, no, Linus would not be able to release Linux under another license without asking permission from all the contributors. Also, the author of IPF cannot retroactively change the license, no matter what he would have you believe. (And make no mistake about it: this is not a clarification of the license, this is a retroactive change of the license). However, if he is the sole author and contributor of the code, he can release the *future* versions of the code under a different license without having to ask permission from anyone. He cannot, however, prevent FreeIPF from forking off of the latest free code.
___

Re:They're meant for each other... (1)

mrbill (4993) | more than 12 years ago | (#193878)

If you had thousands of slashdot wannabees
whining about a problem that didnt exist (if
you read closer, the "no distribution" clause
ONLY applies to non-release beta/test versions
of the software), you'd be JUST A LITTLE pissy
too.

Its his software, he can do what he wants with
it. He has no obligation to release it under
any certain license, and he has all the right
to just tell people to fuck off if he wants.
He also has no obligation to anyone, anywhere,
in any way, regarding his software.

Just my two cents - next, someone will be
complaining that my comments arent GPLed...

Lets see here. (2)

mrbill (4993) | more than 12 years ago | (#193879)

1. He wrote the software.
2. People *assumed* the license meant what they
wanted it to mean.
3. He clarifies the license (the distribution
policies of HIS software).
4. People complain they cant do things they
ASSUMED were okay.
5. People get up in arms and post to /.

Solution?

Just do like lots of other Open Source enthusiasts
do - IF YOU DONT LIKE IT, WRITE YOUR OWN!

Re:OpenIPF soon ? (1)

Eivind Eklund (5161) | more than 12 years ago | (#193880)

Unfortunately, integrating netfilter isn't a real option. *BSD policy is that we do not want to add code that is under a restrictive license (e.g, the GPL) without it giving overwhelming functionality advantages and isn't a core component for a working system. I suspect netfilter of failing both these tests :-(

Unless the netfilter developers make sure to contact all relevant contributors and get an OK for distributing under alternative licensing (ie, BSD style licensing), at least FreeBSD will stick with ipfw (which, contrary to the LWN article, is the primary firewall used in FreeBSD.)

Eivind, FreeBSD developer, speaking his own opinions.

Re:OpenIPF soon ? (1)

Eivind Eklund (5161) | more than 12 years ago | (#193881)

But isn't IFS under a restrictive license already?

(I'm assuming you mean "IPF" as in IPFilter) Well, it is in a sort of twilight zone. The original license can be read either way, and the way most people have read it has been different from what Darren intended with it. And this is the reason why IPFilter has been allowed into the base (along with Darren not saying anything about it, while he should be perfectly aware of the *BSD license policies, as he has a commit bit in both FreeBSD and NetBSD.)

We are looking at how to resolve it, with either Darren changing the license terms or IPFilter being delegated to a port.

Eivind.

Violate a license? I think not. (1)

m2 (5408) | more than 12 years ago | (#193882)

which completely violates any Open Source style license

No, it non-free according to the Debian Free Software Guidelines and not open source, according to the Open Source Definition, but it doesn't violate any license. It's incompatible with Free Software and Open Source licenses, but that's a very different wording.

Editors... your job... please?

You have zero rights by default .. (2)

AftanGustur (7715) | more than 12 years ago | (#193883)


But this does not make sense to me: this addition does change the meaning of the license.

Nope, remember that if you find some software just lying around somewhere, you have, by default, zero rights for that software.
All rights to use it have to be explicitly given to you by the rightsholder.

So if the license did not explicitly allow any use of modified code, that that's it. It was never allowed.

This is also why the GNU GPL works, agreeing on it is the only thing that will allow you to use the code.


--
echo '[q]sa[ln0=aln80~Psnlbx]16isb15CB32EF3AF9C0E5D7272 C3AF4F2snlbxq'|dc

Where's the netiquette? (1)

fabbe (10376) | more than 12 years ago | (#193884)

Not being religiously fanatic about IPF or anything related to this incident, it's hard not to react to the extremely hostile mood that has been the result.
Is the pressure in the Open Source/Free Software/whatever meritocracy developing this hostility? Suddenly, it doesn't seem to be about writing good software - it's about showing your might and power so that you may speak with the Money that has entered the building...

Re:I like to know (1)

millert (10803) | more than 12 years ago | (#193885)

This has been true of OpenBSD since day one. OpenBSD was the first OS to ship with ipf integrated. Indeed, it's the reason I started running OpenBSD.

Re:"Open Source" (2)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 12 years ago | (#193886)

Too bad OSI applied for a trademark on "Open Source" and got shot down because the term is too generic and has a plain english meaning.

You can have an "Open Source Definition", but there's nothing preventing Microsoft or Sun or anyone else from using the term "Open Source" to describe whatever they want. In fact the term runs counter to a long usage tradition of the word "Open" in the industry for software/hardware that has documented interfaces and behavior.

Which why "Open Source" is a lousy term for propaganda value.

There was an opportunity to invent a real identifable 'brand' a few years ago, but it was missed ("OSI-approved" comes close, but is dull), which is exactly why most slashdotters will spend their life arguing about what is or isn't "open source".
--

Re:Define "Use" and "Modification" (1)

Compuser (14899) | more than 12 years ago | (#193887)

Well, I think most courts would consider "use" of
source code to be compilation thereof. The
benefit of having source is not that you can
modify it, but that you can compile it against
your setup with the optimizations you want.
This is similar to having a PDF of a book. The
"use" would be your ability to print it on any
paper you wanted not to plagiarize it by
taking you words and the original work and
"merging them together (usually in some coherent
way that works)".
Face it, he did not mention modification, and
as GNU documentation says (my paraphrase from
memory): nothing else grants you any rights
with respect to this software.

Define "Use" and "Modification" (2)

Skapare (16644) | more than 12 years ago | (#193888)

Modification has been the whole purpose of making software free in the first place. The idea is if someone has an idea to make it better, they are able to do so reasonably if they have the source code. Licenses for free software have intended this in general (and often add other things, like GPL also requires your modifications to be equally free). Therefore, IMH(IANAL)O, the right to modify free software can be implied from common usage. An ordinary person involved in these projects could assume this. And the opportunity to exclude modification rights has always been available and easy to do (just say so, clearly).

And what is modification, anyway? It's taking parts of the original, plus what you contribute, and merging them together (usually in some coherent way that works). It's not all that far a concept from use.

Re:Define "Use" (2)

Sancho (17056) | more than 12 years ago | (#193889)

This is actually an extremely valid point that has not been brought up yet (that I've seen). However I think that to "use" source code is to compile it rather than to change it. I have a feeling most US courts would agree.

Re:"Use in source code" vs. "no derivative works" (2)

Raphael (18701) | more than 12 years ago | (#193892)

Let's take this from another point of view (suggested by an AC in another comment): if I am only allowed to "use" the source code for compiling it and running it but not using it in another project, then why does the license say that I should give credit "to the original author and its contributors?" This only makes sense if I am allowed to use this source code in some other project and re-distribute it.

"Use in source code" vs. "no derivative works" (5)

Raphael (18701) | more than 12 years ago | (#193893)

The previous license says (emphasis mine):

Redistribution and use in source and binary forms are permitted
provided that this notice is preserved and due credit is given
to the original author and the contributors.

Now the author claims that the license said that "redistribution" and "use" were allowed, but not "modifications" and he has added a statement clarifying that, claiming that it had always been that way:

Yes, this means that derivitive or modified works are not permitted
without the author's prior consent

But this does not make sense to me: this addition does change the meaning of the license. Allowing "use in source [...] form" should imply that I am free to use the (unmodified) source code in any project, thereby creating a "derivative work".

The debate over "modified works" is another problem. Indeed, the original license did not explicitely allow any modification to the source code, only its use. However, the license did not specify what is meant by "use in source form", especially what happens if you only take a small part of the source code and use it in some other project. Or if you use most of the original source code (without any modifications), and use it in a new project that contains only one new file that happens to be compatible with an old file in the original IPF code and provides some new features.

I do not know what a judge would think about someone who says "you can use my source code" as if it meant "look, but don't touch." Most programmers would think that "use" means "use whatever part of this code in any project, including modified versions."

OpenBSD (1)

John Whorfin (19968) | more than 12 years ago | (#193894)

Since supposedly ipfilter is somewhat modified under OpenBSD which is against Darren's new licence.

Does any one know what OpenBSD is going to do? (according to some sources there's little love lost between the ipf and OpenBSD camps anyway)

Re:They're meant for each other... (1)

John Whorfin (19968) | more than 12 years ago | (#193895)

Oh no, ipf is Darren's software and he can have a licence requiring sending him dead cats (COD of course) for all I care.

But to not talk to Linux Weekly News because "I really don't like Linux"? I fully expect a post from Darren that says, "Get used to disappointment" (which seems to be de Raadt's signature phrase)

They're meant for each other... (2)

John Whorfin (19968) | more than 12 years ago | (#193896)

Anyone else notice that Darren Reed and Theo de Raadt have similar personalities.

I can't think of two people better to be to be mad at each other :).

I'm sorry.. (2)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 12 years ago | (#193897)

It looks more like someone harassed him into changing the wording on HIS software to be more specific.

The original license agreement says nothing at all about derivitive works or nonexclusive rights.
IT says you may use and distribute 'it' in source or binary form, 'it' being the source you are given.

Also, redistribution not permitted simply means YOU cannot redistribute it without the permission of the copyright holder. It does not mean nobody can have it.

Silly as it may be... it is.

And is he claiming it's open-source? I don't know..

The problem happens when meaning is unclear. (2)

Webmonger (24302) | more than 12 years ago | (#193898)

But lots of folks believed that the original license permitted modifications, because they were permitted to "use" the source.

A judge would have to rule on whether or not "use" of source code includes modification. The author's intent doesn't count for much in this regard.

Re:Lets see here. (2)

jet_silver (27654) | more than 12 years ago | (#193899)

3. He clarifies the license (the distribution policies of HIS software).

He changed it, adding restrictions that were not stated, and that therefore did not exist originally in the license...

No, he did not change it. The point is made in this thread [deadly.org].

The license was never *BSD. Nobody is free to modify the code, since the right of modification doesn't exist if it isn't explicitly offered.

So there is no question of forking the code. If "OpenIPF" is ever produced it will have to be a clean-sheet development. Darren owns IPF.

And with the war of words that's under way, Darren would have to be a saint or a wuss to open-source it now.

Re:I'm sorry.. (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 12 years ago | (#193900)

You can do that as long as you don't display your resulting work in public (including distributing prints) -- at least not without a clear explanation that this is not the original artist's work. Not that this is a license issue, more of avoiding defamation and copyright problems.

Why Language Is Important (2)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 12 years ago | (#193902)

"...derivitive or modified works..."

"Derivitive" is a nonexistent word. I hereby define it to mean "something which is not licensed under the GPL".

If this license referred to "derivative works" it would mean something else, but fortunately it does not.

Re:Forgive my ignorance.... (2)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 12 years ago | (#193903)

The LWN story starts out with the necessary explanation: "IPFilter is the firewalling system used in FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and NetBSD". Kind of important, isn't it?

Re:this sort of thing is important (2)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 12 years ago | (#193904)

"If the BSD project wanted to have the code fall under the more liberal BSD license..."
Incidentally, none of the major BSD [bsd.org] web sites have the BSD license visible -- or it's tucked away in a place which is not obvious. This makes it harder for someone who's considering using BSD to compare licensing terms with others.

Re:I don't think that works... (1)

halbritt (30189) | more than 12 years ago | (#193905)

This license, nor any license can prevent you from creating a derivative work. Creating a derivative work is not considered a copyright infringement. However, distribution of that derivative work would be copyright infringement unless you were previously licensed to do so.

If you write a patch to this or any software that consists of only code that you wrote then you would own the copyright to that code and license it however you chose without regard to the license for the software that you intend to patch with that code.

Define "Use" (2)

schon (31600) | more than 12 years ago | (#193906)

I think Darren is right: there is no change.

I disagree.

his license only ever allowed "redistribution" and "use", not "modification".

How do you define "Use"?

If someone gives me source code, and says that I have license to "use" it - to me, that means that I have the right to modify it, because that's one of the ways to use source code.

Really, what's the point of giving someone source code if they're not allowed to modify it? (I guess the answer is to ask MS :o)

There are many ways to "use" source code. Modifying it is one of them. Mr. Reed should have been more explicit in his original license (perhaps he should have contacted a lawyer.)

Re:Already been here... (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 12 years ago | (#193907)

Since modification means addition of material which Mr Reeds opinions has no legal bearing on at all, what is important is that the license allows redistribution of source and binaries, no but if or when specified. Once you release something under a certain license you cannot change it retroactively for those to which you have granted the license, unless you add a termination clause.

The lesson is: Either consult a number of lawyers before writing a license or make damn sure you use a well known one whose properties you understand. The well known licenses like the GPL arent complicated as hell and full of legalese for fun, they are that way because they have to represent the whole concept and prevent any form of use not intended.

If his idea was to make just some more proprietary software then he should have said so. Of course, nobody would be actually using it in that case...

ianal, etc.

Re:"Use in source code" vs. "no derivative works" (1)

topham (32406) | more than 12 years ago | (#193908)

A book does not state that you have the right to read it.

Why? Because it is assumed/understood that is the intent.

As such, it would not be inconceivable for a court to grant that Source Code is used to make changes. Not simply to be read. So, providing the source code without stating that it cannot be modified might allow for it.

Redistribution of those modifications is up for grabs though...

Ambiguity works against the author (2)

IIH (33751) | more than 12 years ago | (#193909)

He could be right, he could the wrong; the ambiguity in language calls this into question

IANAL, but because this was ambigious, and was admitted to be so (because it needed clarifing) would it not fall directly under the principle of "contra proferentem"?

(Verba fortius accipiuntur contra proferentem: Latin: a principle of construction whereby if words of a contract are ambiguous, of two equally possible meanings, they should be interpreted against the author of the words and not against the other party)


--

Re:I'm sorry.. (1)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | more than 12 years ago | (#193910)

So, it's OpenSource in that I can obtain, edit and USE the source in a manner it was originally fashioned.

Actually, you can't edit the source; Reed's clarification specifically denies modification privileges without his permission. Although I don't see him being miserly with simple requests from free/OSS software authors, you still don't have any rights to edit the source under his license. This is definitely more restrictive than the GPL, and far, far more restrictive than BSD. Don't confuse "legally comfortable" with "less restrictive."

Re:Partly (1)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | more than 12 years ago | (#193911)

Darren is distributing it in _source_ format! No, it's not "open source" in the GPL fashion, but it's not closed source in the Microsoft fashion either.

It's also not open source in the BSD fashion, which is more important in this case, since ipf is used by default in at least one *BSD implementation, and is available for others. This is really closer to MS "Shared Source." To that end, I point out the following:

* Redistribution and use in source and binary forms are permitted

* provided that this notice is preserved and due credit is given
* to the original author and the contributors.
* Yes, this means that derivitive or modified works are not permitted
* without the author's prior consent.


The complete inability to modify the source or use it in a derivative work, at all, goes against Open Source licenses, which generally provide modification and use rights without restriction. This includes the GPL, the BSD, Apache (you have to rename your derivative works, but beyond that you can still play with the source), X11, etc.

This presents real problems for users of IPFilter, especially the OpenBSD crew, which uses ipf by default, and is apparently part of the reason Reed made this clarification. I don't see Darren being evil with refusing permission for BSD projects using the code, but it's still a restriction that generally doesn't appear in Open Source licenses.

Re:I'm sorry.. (1)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | more than 12 years ago | (#193912)

I would think modifications for personal use would considered fair use.

Possibly. You would have to ask a lawyer or Darren for the final word on that. That's another issue the license does not address, and someone should probably ask him about that. He is perfectly within his rights to restrict modification of the source even for personal use; I believe this is what MS plans with its "Shared Source" initiative, look-but-don't-touch code.

Re:Already been here... (2)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | more than 12 years ago | (#193913)

Whether you call it a "clarification" or not, the changes are changes and don't apply to the original license terms.

Unless the "changes" relate to something not specifically dealt with in the original license.

"provided that this notice is preserved and due credit is given to the original author and the contributors" is a fairly well understood phrase in the open software world in which Darren was working, and what it means has been fairly established.

I notice that you failed to quote the preceding
words..."Redistribution and use in source and binary forms are permitted". Note that "modification" is not explicitly mentioned, and hence relies on the copyright holder's wishes, whatever they may be; you cannot just take advantage of a loophole or particular omission and run. There is no restriction in Reed's particular license preventing retroactive application of new clauses, so even if this "clarification" is a change from the previous license, there is nothing preventing Darren from doing this.

It sucks, but there you have it. Lesson learned; read the licenses for software you intend to utilize.

Re:Already been here... (3)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | more than 12 years ago | (#193914)

IIRC the actual license cannot be changed for those releases which you received under a different license except this is stated. So a fork will appear. (Or maybe more: OpenIPF, NetIPF, FreeIPF... ;-)

According to Darren, the modification restriction is only a clarification of the original license, and applies retroactively. He intended the restriction to apply from day one, but didn't explicitly mention it in the license. He could be right, he could the wrong; the ambiguity in language calls this into question. The lesson; read the licenses on software you intend to use, so you aren't taken by surprise by situations like this.

Re:Lets see here. (4)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | more than 12 years ago | (#193915)

2. People *assumed* the license meant what they wanted it to mean.

No, they assumed, naturally, that it meant the established meaning of the wording that he copied.


I don't recall seeing the word "modify", or any form of said word, in the original license, do you?

"Established meaning" might apply to GPL, BSD, and other widely-used licenses. This was Darren's own license for IPfilter.

3. He clarifies the license (the distribution policies of HIS software).

He changed it, adding restrictions that were not stated, and that therefore did not exist originally in the license,


He didn't specifically allow or deny modification rights, meaning the final authority on the subject would be the copyright holder...which is Darren. Ambiguous, yes, but lack of mention does not automatically mean you get that particular right.

and that therefore do not apply to the distributions before those restrictions were added (this is perfectly valid as it applies to the software distributed with the new releases, of course).

Not in Darren's interpretation, and since, again, there is nothing in his license preventing retroactive application of clarifications or changes (and Darren certainly sees this as a clarification, since he never specifically allowed modifications), it applies.

4. People complain they cant do things they ASSUMED were okay.

No, people are complaining that they can't do things that the license absolutely did not forbid before,


And absolutely did not allow. Once again, authority over unmentioned aspects reverts to the copyright holder - in short, Darren. Had someone asked earlier, they would have received the same answer. Instead, many assumed.

and which are a perfectly normal part of the "use" of the software source code.

"Use" can just as easily mean simple reading and compilation. Modification is explicitly allowed by other open source licenses.

In fact, that is a far superior solution, because it will prevent him from waiting until the competing software is complete, and then calling it illegal because of further "accidently left out" clauses forbidding reverse engineering the software and so forth and so on,

No sense doing that, as the source code is available for viewing and compilation, just not modification. In any event, rights not specifically granted by the copyright holder in a license revert to the copyright holder, to dole out as he or she sees fit.

and oh, that nondisclosure note he sort of forgot again to put into his "open" source, but which conveniently added just before the latest lawsuit he filed...

Non-disclosure would need to be specifically mentioned in this case, since he allows the source to be viewed, compiled, and outside of certain test releases distributed. An NDA would be a restriction on top of the previous rights he specifically granted to others, and would have to be specifically mentioned. Modification rights were never specifically dealt with.

Partly (5)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | more than 12 years ago | (#193916)

Yes, the -submitter- failed to mention or discover that Reed only meant the redistribution restriction to apply to certain test releases. However, the restrictions on modification apply to -all- releases, past and future.

For another thing, this isn't panic; this deals with legitimate license questions, and raises issues of using non-free-licensed code in free/open-source software. IPFilter's license does not allow any modification without the author's permission; although I don't imagine Reed being evil over modifications being made for the *BSDs, it still goes against some of the spirit of OSS, and it calls into question how lax software maintainers should be about the licenses they allow into their software, especially when a clarification like this reveals restrictions that weren't explicitly mentioned previously, but are assumed to apply retroactively.

I can forsee a code license audit coming soon after this incident.

And... (1)

??? (35971) | more than 12 years ago | (#193917)

You are also unable to *fix existing problems* and redistribute the fixed version to your customers. Where does this leave you if Mr. Reed disappears (on vacation, hit by a bus, loses interest in maintaining ipf)? This eliminates the redundancy that is so often touted as a major advantage of open source/free software.

Nice, but no. (1)

??? (35971) | more than 12 years ago | (#193918)

The no-redist license applies only to the test builds. The no-mod/no-deriv license that was initially mentioned applies to all revs of the software. And yeah, he was probably technically within his rights. Since he did not explicitly grant permission to distribute derived works, and since that is an exclusive right of the copyright holder, this is just a clarification, and not a change...

No, this would not prevent that... (1)

??? (35971) | more than 12 years ago | (#193919)

The unstable GCC build that was included in Red Hat was *not* a private undistributed test build. If you read the no-redist email above, you would see that the only way you would have had access to this stuff was from a link from one of Mr. Reed's emails.

The no-mod/no-deriv change does apply to all versions of ipf and not just test builds.

That said, if Red Hat wants to shoot themselves in the foot and lose credibility because of insufficient testing of a fundamental component of the software they release, that's their problem. That software should still be available for those who know what they're doing to help diagnose and fix issues, and to move it from a test build or beta to stable. This isn't closed source, commercial software. We shouldn't disappear for periods of time, hiding intermediary builds, and suddenly reappear with a build we claim works.

The transparency afforded by most Open Source/Free Software projects is just as important as the fact that we can read/modify source at stable releases.

But hey, if you think that hiding the process is the best way to go about improving stability and security, you can go back to your Windows box.

Redistribution is not permitted. (2)

galmeida (37917) | more than 12 years ago | (#193920)

mathilda$ date -u
Mon May 28 13:43:48 UTC 2001
mathilda$ fetch http://coombs.anu.edu.au/~avalon/ipf34-current.tgz
Receiving ipf34-current.tgz (579329 bytes): 100%
579329 bytes transferred in 0.1 seconds (6.12 MBps)
mathilda$ tar xzf ipf34-current.tgz
mathilda$ cd ipf34-current
mathilda$ cat LICENCE
/*
* Copyright (C) 1993-2001 by Darren Reed.
*
* The author accepts no responsibility for the use of this software and
* provides it on an ``as is'' basis without express or implied warranty.
*
* Redistribution is not permitted.
*
* This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
* but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
* MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
*
* I hate legalese, don't you ?
*/

We all lose. (1)

ljavelin (41345) | more than 12 years ago | (#193921)

Everyone loses. I'd hate to lose yet another open source project - and I'd hate for the small guy to lose what he may think is rightfully his.

It's nearly impossible to retroactively change a license. Once you give away the farm, it's hard to take it back.

This story shows how important it is to have a good license statement, and why it's easier to make use of some of the standard licenses out there. He should of spent a little more time writing the license if retaining his rights was important, perhaps with a lawyer. He should have tried to reuse one of the popular, well-established licenses versus writing his own.

Live and learn, I suppose... well, hopefully others won't make the same mistake.

OpenIPF soon ? (4)

chrysalis (50680) | more than 12 years ago | (#193923)

An interesting thing is that Todd Fries [fries.net] bought the openipf.org [openipf.org] domain on May 25.
Todd contributes to many opensource projects, like OpenSSH [openssh.com] .
So maybe it means that IPF have the same future than SSH : a really free implementation will follow.
At the same time, Linux Netfilter [samba.org] is growing. While it's not as mature as IPFilter, it's definitely featureful, and going in the right direction.
So maybe the BSD folks can work with the Netfilter dudes instead of reinventing the wheel. We would get only one free packet filtering system, but common to many system, with many developpers, and that would beat everything.
Porting Netfilter to BSD systems is not impossible. Internal socket structures are different, but the way protocols are analyzed can be left unchanged. And it should be also easy to code a parser that would rewrite IPF rules into Netfilter rules, so that people would be able to easily migrate.

What if I contributed code? (3)

mjh (57755) | more than 12 years ago | (#193924)

I have not contributed any code to IPF, but I've contributed code to other projects. Imagine I contributed code to IPF under the assumption that IPF was being provided with a open/free software license. Suddenly the author changes his licensing terms, but continues to include my code contributions in his relicensed code. What happens? I doubt very seriously that I would have contributed code to a non-free non-opensource project solely so that the original author could userp my freedoms.

Does this mean that any code that I contribute needs to be contributed with a license? Is it not fair for me to assume that any code contributions that I make to an open source/free software project are licensed under the same terms that the original author offered me?

What this brings up, is whether or not the author of an opensource or free software project is really allowed to relicense the code. Especially if that code is GPL'd. Say for example Linus decided to make something proprietary with Linux. As the original author, he's got the right to relicense the code, right? Well if he does, then what about all the code that was contributed by someone else?

If you're saying that he doesn't have the right to relicense the code, doesn't this go against what RMS says [gnu.org]? Or is this only allowed for the initial release of the software. Does the original author have any rights to change the terms of the software license after someone else has contributed code?

Re:Already been here... (1)

Velox_SwiftFox (57902) | more than 12 years ago | (#193925)

IIRC the actual license cannot be changed for those releases which you received under a different license except this is stated. So a fork will appear. (Or maybe more: OpenIPF, NetIPF, FreeIPF... ;-)
According to Darren, the modification restriction is only a clarification of the original license, and applies retroactively. He intended the restriction to apply from day one, but didn't explicitly mention it in the license. He could be right, he could the wrong; the ambiguity in language calls this into question. The lesson; read the licenses on software you intend to use, so you aren't taken by surprise by situations like this.

No, I don't think so. Whether you call it a "clarification" or not, the changes are changes and don't apply to the original license terms. "provided that this notice is preserved and due credit is given to the original author and the contributors" is a fairly well understood phrase in the open software world in which Darren was working, and what it means has been fairly established. I don't care if he adds "except that distribution is not allowed by left handed people" and states that he originally intended that such sinister characters not be included, or whatever, license changes don't propogate retroactively.

Humpty Dumpty's Software License (2)

Velox_SwiftFox (57902) | more than 12 years ago | (#193926)

Perhhaps the author forgot to add the clause:

"The provisions in this license mean, now and in the future, exactly what the author wants then to mean, neither more nor less".

Unlike yourself, I do not believe this is automatically assumed to be a standard part of a software license or other legal document.

Poisoning the well (2)

Velox_SwiftFox (57902) | more than 12 years ago | (#193928)

Non-disclosure would need to be specifically mentioned in this case, since he allows the source to be viewed, compiled, and outside of certain test releases distributed. An NDA would be a restriction on top of the previous rights he specifically granted to others, and would have to be specifically mentioned. Modification rights were never specifically dealt with.
Oh, really? And you wouldn't call the result of reverse engineering the software based on the new software's authors' knowledge of the original a derivative work?

Even though new substitute package would likely be (and should be) written by those expert programmers who have already concerned themselves the IFL package, and naturally have gone through it with a figurative fine-tooth comb looking for security holes)? That kind of knowledge of the software seems to create a legal assumption that the resulting new software is a copy/paraphrase/erivative work, going by the the results of between-corporation lawsuits.

Gee, too bad. I guess that makes the competing package a lot harder to create, doesn't it? How convenient for that original author again...

Re:Lets see here. (3)

Velox_SwiftFox (57902) | more than 12 years ago | (#193929)

1. He wrote the software.

Given.

2. People *assumed* the license meant what they wanted it to mean.

No, they assumed, naturally, that it meant the established meaning of the wording that he copied.

3. He clarifies the license (the distribution policies of HIS software).

He changed it, adding restrictions that were not stated, and that therefore did not exist originally in the license, and that therefore do not apply to the distributions before those restrictions were added (this is perfectly valid as it applies to the software distributed with the new releases, of course).

4. People complain they cant do things they ASSUMED were okay.

No, people are complaining that they can't do things that the license absolutely did not forbid before, and which are a perfectly normal part of the "use" of the software source code.

5. People get up in arms and post to /.

irrelevent, except as a troll.

Solution?

Just do like lots of other Open Source enthusiasts
do - IF YOU DONT LIKE IT, WRITE YOUR OWN!

That's one solution. An equally valid one being to fork the code from the last version that did not contain the new and odious restriction which would forbid that forking, and if he doesn't like that and goes to court, to watch as the judge laughs him out of said court once the situation is explained.

In fact, that is a far superior solution, because it will prevent him from waiting until the competing software is complete, and then calling it illegal because of further "accidently left out" clauses forbidding reverse engineering the software and so forth and so on, and oh, that nondisclosure note he sort of forgot again to put into his "open" source, but which conveniently added just before the latest lawsuit he filed...

I don't think that works... (2)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 12 years ago | (#193930)

Solution: from now on distribute the original virgin source and a patch file. This may only transfer the issue from the developer of the fork to the installer of the fork but it does make the problem much more difficult for any lawyer to pursue as he would have to get permission from the court to examine the accused's computer.

I think you missed a point.

To create the patch file you have to do one of two things:

Create a derivative work and diff them.

Write the patch file from scratch.

Writing a patch file from scratch that even applys correctly is difficult without at least trying to apply it, which also creates a derivative work. Writing one that produces working code is virtually imposible. (Did you ever get even a single subroutine to compile and run correctly the first time? Not impossible with a small one, but extremely rare.)

Copyright is a civil matter, so the standard of proof it "preponerance of evidence". A patch file that applys correctly and produces working code with a feature added or changed in a predicted way should qualify for that test, and bring copyright's draconian penalties to bear.

(And then there's the question of whether a context diff is itself a derivative work or if the included text qualifies as "fair use".)

IANAL. But this sure makes sense to me.

You missed the spelling flame. (2)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 12 years ago | (#193931)

"...derivitive or modified works...

"Derivitive" is a nonexistent word. I hereby define it to mean "something which is not licensed under the GPL".

It does refer to derivative works. ... If you have a series of adjectives all modifying the same noun, you generally do not write (or say) the noun after each one, its redundant. ...

You missed his point. What he posted was a spelling flame. The original misspelled "derivative" as "derivitive" and SEWilco keyed off that and declaraed that, since this was a new word, he could define it as whatever he wanted.

Of course the meaning is clear despite the misspelling, and what's important is whether a "reasonable and prudent" licensee could be expected to understand what was meant. So if the word was misspelled in this way in a license it wouldn't invalidate the license.

You interpret it correctly but... (2)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 12 years ago | (#193932)

having an "open source" product without having the ability to modify ... creates a dependency on the author of the product to get a patch out. ... this seems worse than MS...because if you are relying on something that has 1 main author in this model...you technically could only get a fix from him/her. At least MS has a team of maintenance developers in case one is in the hospital.

It's bad but not AS bad.

In the "read but don't touch" model you've still got the world to debug the code, diagnose any security failures, and supply proposed changes. You're just dependent on the copyright holder to apply and distribute them. In the closed-source model all the world can do is submit bug reports, which the small team must sift for REAL bugs, diagnose the probles, write and test the changes, and THEN apply and distribute them.

Not as nice as being able to apply your own changes, or those supplied by others, while you're wating. Definitely not as nice as being able to publish fixes. But it's still ahead of "peh-TI-shun-ing the LAW-ud with prah-AY-uh" and waiting for a vendor to notice that the bug is real and decide it's worth fixing before they even START to TRY to fix it.

Still I prefer Linus' model: "The OFFICIAL kernel has only what I approved and added. Hack all you want, but don't blame me if it blows up."

Retrospective licensing? (3)

Nailer (69468) | more than 12 years ago | (#193933)

How is this a clarification? The paragraph didn't exist at all in the previous versions. The license people agreed to when using previous versions did not include this restrictipon, though Darren may have wanted it to be there.

Just because he's added it there now and *wanted* it to be there all along isn't a clarification of the license, its a modification of the license to suit the authors long term intentions.

The software now does not meet any of the FSF free doms and also the Open Source Definition.

And yes, the OpenBSD team is having trouble with the license already.

Re:I'm sorry.. (1)

rtaylor (70602) | more than 12 years ago | (#193934)

Funny as it may seem, as a company I find this to be WAY less restricting than the GPL. So, it's OpenSource in that I can obtain, edit and USE the source in a manner it was originally fashioned. What I'm not allowed to do is trojan the ipf source and send it off to users and competitors.

Another wrong fact: (2)

Baki (72515) | more than 12 years ago | (#193935)

ipfw is the standard firewall in FreeBSD (and it is more advanced than ipfilter, which is also in FreeBSD). See the latest release notes [freebsd.org] (search for ipfilter in this page). The FreeBSD Handbook [freebsd.org] doesn't even mention ipfilter, only ipfw.

One more reason to stick with ipfw (1)

farmergiles (93314) | more than 12 years ago | (#193937)

I have plenty of other new stuff to learn. I've been using ipfw for about eighteen months at home and in commercial environments and I like it just fine.

Re:OpenIPF soon ? (2)

crucini (98210) | more than 12 years ago | (#193938)

I think that ipf is much more intuitive than ipchains/iptables. It would be very sad if OpenBSD switched to Netfilter, regardless of the license issues.
I think it would almost be easier to implement free ipf from scratch. In a way, the hard part was coming up with the conceptual framework. Once you understand ipf syntax, writing the firewall should be less than astronomically difficult.

Thoughts on this (1)

Builder (103701) | more than 12 years ago | (#193939)

Having followed this topic on the ipf list for the past couple of days, I'm not sure if the change is as serious as people think, or if it is more serious.

What I do know is this. Linux has had three very different filtering systems over the past three major kernel revisions. ipfwadm in 2.0, ipchains in 2.2 and netfilter / iptables in 2.4. Granted, iptables aren't that big a change from ipchains, but it's still a pain to have to upgrade all your filter scripts and learn new syntax every time a new major kernel release happens.

Over the same period of time ipfilter has stayed the same. It has retained it's syntax and most importantly, it has run on many different systems.

ipfilter was one of the contributing factors in our decision to drop Linux in my company. We have to maintain sun solaris boxes for certain clients, and we already use ipfilter on our OpenBSD firewall. But we had filters on all machines as additional layers of security. By dropping Linux and moving to FreeBSD we still have a powerful server platform, and we get to standardise on our filtering tools

For us, this is a good thing. Less different packages to maintain in an organisation means less chance of things going wrong. Less chance of things going wrong leads to more free time for my staff and me.

So ipfilter has been a blessing for us. We can now use the same filtering scripts on our database servers be they Sun or FreeBSD. We have the same webserver set of filtering scripts for Solaris, FreeBSD and OpenBSD. Everything all nice and tight.

Now the downsides. When the fragment bug was found in ipfilter 3.4.16, we had to upgrade it on 20 servers. That's a pain. If this licence does cause people to shy away from ipfilter that will be bad too, purely because there will be less support going into it and it will take longer for things to get noticed / fixed.

I read talk of OpenIPF, but how long will that be? It was quite a while before OpenSSH was able to work as a drop in replacement for SSH.

Just my thoughts.


/* Wayne Pascoe

Re:I'm sorry.. (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 12 years ago | (#193941)

In most of Europe, buying a painting a spraypainting curse words over it would violate copyright.

That, in fact, was one of the things that kept the United States out of the Berne Convention for a long time. Berne requires protection of certain rights called "moral rights" of authors, and one of those rights is the protection of the integrity of their work. This goes way beyond what the US thinks copyright should cover.

To get into Berne, the US enacted these moral rights, but only for a very small set of works, and then the Berne countries pretended that that was enough, and the US joined.

noone ever mentions cygwin? (1)

jdwtiv (107586) | more than 12 years ago | (#193942)

Cygnus doesn't allow redistribution of their cygwin dll's, and they're owned by RedHat! :)

Their marketing docs say that cygwin is GPL, but in reality that license is only for certain groups, commercial companies still need to pay distribution royalties...

Re:noone ever mentions cygwin? (1)

jdwtiv (107586) | more than 12 years ago | (#193943)

linking doesn't have anything to do with it, even if you use their precompiled binaries you still have to pay royalties...

Re:New security model? (2)

Richy_T (111409) | more than 12 years ago | (#193944)

No alterations??? This blows!

Security through obscurity fails to function with proprietary software, but even more so with open source software that nobody is permitted to fix. A security issue is discovered by code review but to remedy the issue is to breach the license terms.

Re:OpenIPF soon ? (1)

gavcam (120595) | more than 12 years ago | (#193946)

You say

At the same time, Linux Netfilter is growing. While it's not as mature as IPFilter, it's definitely featureful, and going in the right direction.

and then you go on to say

So maybe the BSD folks can work with the Netfilter dudes instead of reinventing the wheel.

Did you mean to say that the Linux people (who are the one currently reinventing the wheel) should be supporting the BSD people as the BSD people have the more featureful and mature product?

Re:Partly (1)

lamontg (121211) | more than 12 years ago | (#193947)

especially when a clarification like this reveals restrictions that weren't explicitly mentioned previously, but are assumed to apply retroactively.

*sigh*

The fact here is that nothing is "being assumed to apply retroactively." Under copyright law generally "all other rights are reserved." I'm quite sure that you've seen that phrase used over and over and over. It does, in fact, impart a specific legal meaning. And even if a copyright license does not expressly state that phrase, it is implied.

Now, nowhere in the license did Darren Reed ever grant the right for others to modify his software. That means that you did not have that right and never had that right. There is nothing "retroactive" about it.

To further illustrate, lets look at the BSD license:

Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met: [...etc...]

The BSD license looks oddly similar to Darren Reed's IPF license except that it explicitly grants you the right to redistribute the source and binary code with modification. Since it explicitly gives you that right, you have that right and it is not reserved. On the other hand, had that phrase been left out of the BSD license then you would not have been granted that right. Since Darren Reed left that off of IPFs license, you do not have that right. There is no "but it looks like a BSD license, he's trying to fool me!" defense in copyright law.

All that Darren Reed has done with this action is that he's obviously gotten fed up with people confusing his license with the BSD license and decided to clarify it so that he doesn't have to deal with the headaches. He could have left the clarification off and you still wouldn't have the right to modify his software. The clarification does not legally change his license at all.

Hmm (1)

Ryvar (122400) | more than 12 years ago | (#193950)

This is too bad, I rather liked IPF.

Of course, ipf.c has claims within it that run contrary to this, and the license changes only affect the test versions -so far-.

If that same license makes it into the production versions . . . well, doesn't FreeBSD have a nice firewall package anyways?

--Ryvar

could this be worse than MS? (2)

ejbst25 (130707) | more than 12 years ago | (#193953)

According to the author [false.net]..."The licence has only ever granted right to redistribute/use, not modify. "

Dang...it looks like I can't submit those patches to that major security hole I found...I guess I will just have to exploit everyone til they learn. ;-)

No..but seriously...having an "open source" product without having the ability to modify kinda makes it a bad model. This creates a dependency on the author of the product to get a patch out. IANAL...but this seems worse than MS...because if you are relying on something that has 1 main author in this model...you technically could only get a fix from him/her. At least MS has a team of maintenance developers in case one is in the hospital.

As always...please correct me if I interperted this incorrectly.

Re:I'm sorry.. (1)

aozilla (133143) | more than 12 years ago | (#193956)

I would think modifications for personal use would considered fair use. Consider buying a painting, and then spraypainting curse words all over it. I don't see how the owner of the copyright of the painting could restrict that.

Re:Already been here... (1)

aozilla (133143) | more than 12 years ago | (#193957)

Agreed. The license changes don't apply retroactively. The point is that the two licenses are identical. The second is more clear, which legally doesn't mean much except it would probably make it easier to get punitive damages. A license gives you permission to do things. Absense of permission to do something means you can't do it.

Re:I'm sorry.. (1)

aozilla (133143) | more than 12 years ago | (#193958)

Well, I'm claiming that he is not within his rights, barring an EULA, to restrict modification of the source for personal use. But there are only 9 people in the US who can make that determination, ultimately. In the mean time, I'll feel free to modify source for personal use. First of all, I won't get caught, and secondly, I believe I'd have an adequete defense even if I did.

Re:I'm sorry.. (1)

aozilla (133143) | more than 12 years ago | (#193959)

Fair Use criteria:

  • The purpose and character of the use - to fix bugs and create compatibility, add features
  • The nature of the copyrighted work - pretty much standard here
  • The amount and substantiality - because this isn't copying, presumably this would be counted differently
  • The effect of the use upon the potential market - zero
I'll take my chances. I believe that the constitution protects my rights to modify source code (or even binaries) for personal use. I don't think this would extend to cirumvention of particular intentional parts of the product (for example, for example an expiration or limit on simultaneous users), but I do think it extends to bug fixing, compatibility enhancement, and minor feature enhancement.

Re:Already been here... (2)

coolgeek (140561) | more than 12 years ago | (#193961)

Right...The real probem here is that it turns out the license is not what your typical /.'er wants to have in a license.

Aside from that, it seems rather comical that Darren slipped this under the nose of the BSD Gurus. They should have never allowed this into their distros in the first place. Basically, it amounts to unmaintainable code.

Re:Already been here... (1)

innocent_white_lamb (151825) | more than 12 years ago | (#193963)

It is my understanding that there is a legal principle where he-who-wrote-the-license (contract, whatever) is assumed to know what he is doing, and in the event of an ambiguity, the benefit of the doubt is to go to the other party, he-who-did-not write the license.

Therefore, I suspect that in this case, benefit of the doubt would to to the parties using the software and not to Mr. Reed; where it is ambiguious then the courts would tend to find in favour of the more permissive reading of the license.

But then, I'm not a legal lamb...

Re:What if I contributed code? (2)

3247 (161794) | more than 12 years ago | (#193964)

It's quite simple:

  • All code contributed to a project is at least implicitly coverd by a license, usually the same license(s) as the original project.
  • As the original author, you can relicense the code as often as you want to.
  • If there's code contributed by others, you aren't the only original author any longer. So you'll need the approval of these authors if you want to do or allow something that isn't allowed by their license[1].

[1] You can of course change to a compatible license. Also, this also applies if the contributions are covered by copyright, which might not be the case for small trivial changes.

oss control (1)

chompz (180011) | more than 12 years ago | (#193965)

I see nothing wrong with an author of OSS from wanting to maintain a little bit of control over thier software.

Re:NOT FLAIMBAIT (1)

Tomcow2000 (189275) | more than 12 years ago | (#193966)

No offense, but your post is completely irrelevant. IPF was never released under the BSD license, it has always been the author's own license. Therefore, he has the right to do as he wishes with it, and not be forced to do exactly as the GPL says.

Already been here... (1)

mirabilos (219607) | more than 12 years ago | (#193970)

in my OpenBSD-Journal /box.
As I replied there:

IIRC the actual license cannot be changed for those
releases which you received under a different license
except this is stated. So a fork will appear.
(Or maybe more: OpenIPF, NetIPF, FreeIPF... ;-)

But I'm no lawyer, so please don't take this
except for my 0.02 EUR


--

Re:Previous Coverage (1)

thedesertfox (225536) | more than 12 years ago | (#193971)

Um...okay, that's wonderful. Please stop posting "BSD is dying." So what if it is? Was that why was Linux created for? To be a marketed OS? No, as far as I'm aware it was originally created as a class project by Linus! And a lot of the people who worked/are working on Linux, are doing it because they want to. It's the same idea with BSDs, these are free projects, they're doing this because they want to have fun. If BSD dies, it's a loss to all. It may also fortell what may or may not happen to Linux in the future.
-----

Re:Already been posted on Slashdot once today (1)

Alatar (227876) | more than 12 years ago | (#193972)

...and why is this article under the "BSD" section?

Re:Already been posted on Slashdot once today (1)

Alatar (227876) | more than 12 years ago | (#193973)

...um, cause ipf is for bsd? Linux users have to suffer through whatever sh***y tcp stack L.T. and co. have cooked up lately.

IPF runs under HP/UX, Solaris, and Irix. I've only used the Solaris version, myself. Where did the linux comment come from? Nobody has said anything about linux.

Re:"Use in source code" vs. "no derivative works" (1)

Jamie Webb (230102) | more than 12 years ago | (#193974)

Redistribution and use in source and binary forms are permitted provided that this notice is preserved and due credit is given to the original author and the contributors.

This is an implication that one could distribute modified versions of the package, since otherwise one could not possibly fail to preserve the notice. I don't suppose it would stand up in court though.

Re:NOT FLAIMBAIT (1)

Lonath (249354) | more than 12 years ago | (#193975)

He wasn't saying D Reed has to follow the GPL. He's saying that things are easier when you have one license as opposed to a mishmash of licenses since individual authors writing their own ambigious licenses won't be able to come along later and "clarify" things in ways that people weren't expecting. With the GPL you have a common language and understanding and these kinds of situations will be less rare (unless your goal is to "get around" the GPL).


Re:Another wrong fact: (1)

Peter Verhage (254406) | more than 12 years ago | (#193976)

No that's not entirely true. Ipfilter is more advanced then Ipfw, but it is true that FreeBSD's standard firewall is ipfw.

I like to know (1)

Tachys (445363) | more than 12 years ago | (#193981)

The article says OpenBSD uses a modified version of IPF. How long has this been true?

Headline wrong (1)

Tachys (445363) | more than 12 years ago | (#193982)

I just realized the headline is totally wrong. Redistribution is allowed. The headline should read "Modification Not Allowed"

Re:Define "Use" (1)

m08593 (455349) | more than 12 years ago | (#193983)

If someone gives me source code, and says that I have license to "use" it - to me, that means that I have the right to modify it, because that's one of the ways to use source code.

That is another valid interpretation. However, Darren's interpretation also seems reasonable. Since he wrote the code and since he added the explanation to clarify, I think one should take his intent and interpretation at face value and live with it. Saying to BSD contributors "hey, we want this code, and by some legal means we can use it whether you like it or not" sets a bad precedent, I think.

That's why a license should be explicit about such things and list the long litany of things you can do: "use, modify, redistribute, create derivative works, ..." and why it is essential to spell out things in excrutiating detail before contributions to open source projects are accepted.

this sort of thing is important (2)

m08593 (455349) | more than 12 years ago | (#193984)

I think Darren is right: there is no change. As I read it, his license only ever allowed "redistribution" and "use", not "modification". If the BSD project wanted to have the code fall under the more liberal BSD license, they should have made that a requirement before accepting it.

This seems like a fairly benign case: the code is self contained and can be removed if Darren doesn't change the license (and he is under no obligation). If this code were more integral to the system, it would potentially be a big problem. In fact, I wonder now whether the BSD project has really made sure in other, more critical cases that all contributions to the project really are made under the BSD copyright.

The FSF is picky about copyright assignments and licenses for a reason. Open source projects really need to pay attention to this or they put their whole user community at risk.

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