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RE: ipf



> That is probably right, however the issue is not of legality, but
> of the wishes of the author.  OpenBSD is not about court battles
> and corporate style politics, and if I am not mistaken, Theo writes
> better code than legal briefs.  IPF is not worth the potential
> lost development time and project money to fight over in court.
> The OpenBSD project has chosen the honrable thing to do, and just
> as the OpenSSH project eclipsed the package it started out to
> replace, I have a feeling that within a couple releases no one
> will be complaining about the loss of IPF.   (Assuming the 
> proper ammount of extra resources are available.)
> 
Clearly stated.  This whole thing is a matter of philosophy (and perhaps
personalities), and not necessarily about legalities.

There is certainly enough precedence to case doubt on the statement by the
author of ipf that it was never free to distribute or modify.  It is also
disingenuous to make a small modification to a license and then claim it has
always "meant the same thing".  Any good lawyer could skewer this argument
easily.  I hope Mr. Reed has good counsel, because if a Big Bad Company
wanted to take his code in exchange for a few pieces of silver, he'd find it
very difficult to say "no".

However, as has been pointed out by others, no matter how uncooperative an
author is, we should take the high road and honour this "new" license.  Not
to mention that it does nobody any good to get into a legal battle over
this.

Finally (and most important to this discussion), Theo and the OBSD team have
to adhere to their own philosophy about OpenBSD -- one that has served us
well for many years.  I cannot support the inclusion of software into the
OBSD tree that does not allow for a full audit, including modification (if
necessary).

Has Mr. Reed done himself a disservice introducing a new license prohibiting
modification and stating it has always been this way?  Yes.

Should Theo pull ipf from the OBSD tree?  Of course.

Unfortunately, I cannot help with this effort much beyond standing on the
sidelines and shouting "go team!".  My TCP/IP experience is firmly user-land
administration, and is going to stay that way, if I can help it.

That's my $1.49 (CDN).  Flames cheerfully ignored with the help of my +1
Ring of Fire Protection.

jdv