Re: Mr. Dickey's playtime is over

From: Jason Evans <>
Date: Fri, 30 May 1997 11:50:13 -0700 (PDT)

On Fri, 30 May 1997, Eric S. Raymond wrote:
> Jesse Thilo writes:
> > On Thu, May 29, 1997 at 09:18:48PM -0400, T.E.Dickey wrote:
> > > > To the terminfo.src maintainer,
> > > c'est moi
> >
> > Since when? (Seriously)
> Mr. Dickey appears to have decided that hijacking one project and screwing over
> Zeyd and myself wasn't enough for him. Now he's asserting control of the
> terminfo database I maintain, as well.
> I've had enough of this. Repeated attempts by myself and others to
> get Thomas Dickey to account for his behavior have failed. He won't
> answer my mail. He has repeatedly ignored Zeyd benHalim's protests
> about the unauthorized 4.0 and 4.1 releases. He has altered credits
> on the ncurses distribution without authority to do so and without
> the consent of the persons affected.
> As one of the copyright owners of ncurses, I have the legal right to
> forbid Thomas Dickey from distributing or modifying the ncurses
> sources. I have refrained from exercising it because I felt I had
> more important things to do than get in a pissing match with a skunk.
> I'm afraid I have allowed disgust at this prospect, and the well-meaning
> but misguided advice of others, to paralyze me for six months.

Whoa... This is all very surprising to me, as well as concerning and
confusing. I looked through the ncurses 4.1 distribution for copyright
information, and now I'm even more confused. Can someone please shed some
light on the following?

1) Under what license was the predecessor to ncurses released? (pcurses)
2) Doesn't the copyright notice by Zeyd Ben-Halim and Eric Raymond grant
   permission to do pretty much anything with the ncurses distribution?
3) As long as Thomas Dickey didn't remove the copyright notice from any of
   the header files (which means there could conceivably end up being
   header file with nothing but a copyright notice in them), hasn't he
   abided by the ncurses license as stated by Ben-Halim and Raymond?
4) Why wasn't ncurses re-released under the GPL/LGPL long ago in order to
   make the copyright situation clearer?
5) Why is ncurses on the GNU distribution sites when it doesn't have a
   GPL? I was completely shocked to not find the GPL in the ncurses
6) Why are people so concerned over who owns free software?


Jason Evans: [MRC System Administrator]
e-mail: []
office phone: [(208) 885-7226]
home phone: [(208) 882-6745]
quote: ["Invention is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration." - Thomas Edison]
Received on Fri May 30 1997 - 14:50:08 EDT

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