Subject: Re: "University-style" vs "Berkeley" licenses
From: shap@eros.cis.upenn.edu
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 1998 20:34:00 -0400

Ray:

Yes, people are griping about the BSD copyrights.

I haven't seen *anybody* propose that the authors of the BSD code
should be cheated of recognition.

*One* party concluded that a *portion* of the copyright concerning
advertising was unenforcable and chose to ignore it *after* seeking
advice of counsel.

Now let's be clear about the legal meaning of ``unenforcable.''  It
means that a provision has been held by competent legal professionals
to be legally unsound.  If this interpretation by counsel was correct,
it means that if the matter went to court the judge would throw that
portion of the license/copyright out, and legally it is then as though
the requirement for advertising acknowledgement never existed.

It does NOT mean ``If you do this they will not go to the trouble to
sue.''  I agree that this would be improper if it had been done.

If advice of counsel has been sought, and after a good faith effort it
is determined that a portion of the copyright is unenforcable, it is
NOT the obligation of the user to go to the copyright holder and say,
in effect: ``please fix your copyright so that my hands will really be
tied the way you wanted them to be.''  Equally, it is not the
obligation of the user to take the matter to court -- indeed they have
no grounds for doing so.

This is simply how the legal process works If UCB feels infringed upon
they can take legal action, and the infringer will pay several times
over for the fact that the court decided their counsel was wrong.

Both proper initial wording of the agreement and enforcement of the
terms are the responsibility of the licensor.  Caveat Emptor.


Jonathan