Re: What is "free software"?

From: Eric S. Raymond <>
Date: Wed, 4 Jun 1997 10:49:12 -0400 (EDT)

Paul Fox:
> BTW, i see that the file "ncurses.lsm" that accompanies 1.9.9 releases,
> and which appears in
> states:
> Copying-policy: BSD-like.
> this is clearly _not_ the case, and is extremely misleading, since although
> most people have a good idea, via common practice, of what their rights
> are under a "BSD-like" Copyright, far fewer will note the omission of those
> crucial few words allowing modification from the ncurses license.
> in addition, the ANNOUNCE file that accompanies ncurses calls the software
> "freeware", another fairly loaded term.
> imo, if the Eric and Zeyd wish to retain rigid control over their products,
> they should be more rigourous and up front about stating that policy in the
> first place.

You are correct, and I apologize on behalf of Zeyd and myself. The "BSD-like"
in the LSM was an error. I'm not even sure how it got in there.

I think this is about to become a historical issue, however. If (as now
seems likely) Peter Seebach takes over as primary maintainer and is assigned
copyright, the new distribution will ship with his choice of license (which
I believe is BSD).

		Eric S. Raymond
Received on Wed Jun 04 1997 - 10:55:42 EDT

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