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From: Can E. Acar <can.acar <at> pro-g.com.tr>
Subject: Re: Wasting our Freedom
Newsgroups: gmane.linux.kernel
Date: Tuesday 18th September 2007 18:55:29 UTC (over 9 years ago)
Theodore Tso wrote:
> On Mon, Sep 17, 2007 at 03:06:37PM -0700, Can E. Acar wrote:
>> The only remaining issue is whether Nick & Jiri have enough
>> original contributions to the code to be added to the Copyright.
>> I believe this needs to be resolved between Reyk and Nick and Jiri.
>> The main reason of Theo's message, linked earlier, was the
>> lack of response on this issue. It seems that the SFLC is
>> dismissing this issue, and thus stalling its resolution by the
>> developers.
> OK, so all of this flaming, and digging up of "licenses ripped off",
> and chaff thrown up in the air, and moaning and bewailing about
> "theft", is now down to these two lines regarding Nick and Jiri:

Yes, quite an improvement, considering how it all started, dont you think?
Pity it took so much pushing and dragging to get people to do the right
There is just one little step to go. It is can not be that hard, can it?

>> * Copyright (c) 2004-2007 Reyk Floeter 
>> * Copyright (c) 2006-2007 Nick Kossifidis 
>> * Copyright (c) 2007 Jiri Slaby <[email protected]>
>> [snip rest of BSD license]
> It's under a BSD license; what material difference does those two
> lines make, for goodness sake?  It's under a BSD license, so it's not
> like anything won't be "given back".

As a programmer, you sure would know what difference any "two lines"
would make on your program. When it comes to law, you seem to lose
that intuition.

> Whether or not they have made
> enough for changes is really a question for the lawyers, and may
> differ from one jurisdiction to another
> --- but whether or not they have now, or maybe will not make until later

Well, they can add their names *anywhere* in the whole file, *except*
these two lines. See, these lines have a whole different meaning
when it comes to laws.  When they make sufficient contribution, they
sure can add their names. What is so difficult to understand here?

I have seen some academic papers, where the first author did all the work,
the second author is the professor who funded the work, and the remaining
five "authors" are just coming along for a ride.  You know what the
difference is? The original author *allows* them to put their names as

Here, you are adding names, and say "why not". It is both unethical and

> does it really make a
> difference?  Who gets hurt if someone gets they get a bit more credit
> than they deserve?  Certainly the most important thing is that Reyk is
> given proper credit, right?

As long as it is not a derived work, Reyk gets to decide who is in the
copyright. Even if it is a derived work, it is polite to ask.

If, at the beginning, Nick and Jiri, and others asked Reyk to be included
in the Copyright for the adaptation work they did on the HAL. I do not
believe he would have refused. I can not talk for him, but things would
be have been resolved in a much nicer and positive way.

Instead they chose to push Reyk for months to dual license his code,
then attempted to change the whole license. Even now, when there is
just a small issue left, people are still dragging and resisting.

I am really disappointed by all this.  I would have expected that once
such a patch is suggested (let alone being committed to some public place)
some senior/respected/responsible Linux person would tell them what they
are doing is wrong.  Right from the start.  I now see this is not how
things work around here.  Senior developers are either too busy or
reluctant to get their hands dirty. In OpenBSD, (which, I accept is a
much smaller community) when one developer does something wrong,
the clue stick is there to be used by one of the more experienced
Which means, issues are resolved quickly and with much less pain.


In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
But, in practice, there is.
CD: 3ms