Re: ncurses 4.1

From: Kaz Kylheku <>
Date: Mon, 2 Jun 1997 12:22:55 -0700 (PDT)

On Mon, 2 Jun 1997, Peter Seebach wrote:

> Date: Mon, 2 Jun 1997 13:07:46 -0500 (CDT)
> From: Peter Seebach <>
> To:
> Subject: Re: ncurses 4.1
> (Hoping all of the people in the To: list are on the ncurses list)
> I think it's instructive to compare this with the XEmacs thing. In
> that case, users who disagreed with RMS about the direction of the project
> *did* fork. There are a lot of XEmacs users. There are a lot of
> Emacs users. Most of the time, they remain on good terms and exchange
> patches.

Hoever both forks are under the GPL. The GPL grants the right to produce
derivative works. Ncurses is not under the GPL; it's not clear whether its
license gives up the authors' adaptation right. I will pore over it to make

> Look also at the *BSD's; we're up to three free versions of 4.4BSD,
> which have split over issues like this.
> The concern I mostly have here is that, in the other cases, the split
> or divergence of views is marked by a name change. Perhaps Eric
> should release encurses, or Tom should release dncurses?

The question is whether Tom has a right to do that. If the ncurses guys
have not waived the adaptation rights, all he can do is reproduce and
distribute ncurses like any other user. As I see it, any derivative work he
makes will fall into one of two categories: either it is of good quality, in
which case it remains the property of the original authors under their
adaptive right, or it is a poor quality ``distortion'' which the
authors have a right to prevent. I take it that the authors get to decide
what is a distortion and what isn't, and in any case they own the
good stuff.
Received on Mon Jun 02 1997 - 15:29:26 EDT

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