Subject: Re: [Fwd: FW: For Approval: Generic Attribution Provision]
From: Rick Moen <>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 13:24:40 -0800

Quoting Craig Muth (

> I agree that no one wants to throw away the BSD license because of
> this.  However if you released some software under BSD and someone
> grabbed your code and simply replaced all instances of "YourProject"
> with "Microsoft" (for example) and stuck it on their website and
> charged for it, I doubt many would consider this particular act good
> for open source, though I grant it wouldn't voilate the license.  I'd
> buy calling it a necessary evil for certain licenses.

I think you might be confusing two things.  The action you describe is
_not_ what Matthew Garrett spoke of, and would in fact be a clear tort
by established principles of copyright law.

Granted, Matthew was a bit vague in his rejoinder that "the BSD license
explicitly allows this" -- but then, so were you in your preceding
comment that companies "rebranding and charging money for open source
without contributing back" are being "bad for open source".

I believe what Matthew had in mind was the traditional (and specifically
intended) BSD freedom to make proprietary derivative works based on
BSD-licensed code.  In no way does that freedom grant downstream users
the right to lie about upstream code authorship.

> If we're talking about projects whose source is open - for
> downloading, modifying, redistributing, and selling - and assuming
> they get their license to reasonably conform to the OSD, who are we to
> say it's not open source?

We're the people who take OSD #3, 6 and 10 seriously, and who aren't
distracted by insultingly bogus analogies and special pleading.

Rick Moen                 "Anger makes dull men witty, but it keeps them poor."                                   -- Elizabeth Tudor