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From: Theo de Raadt (deraadtcvs.openbsd.org)
Date: Fri Aug 24 2001 - 13:11:00 CDT
> I am just curious - why exactly were all the DJB ports dropped?
Precisely because of what the commit message says:
> "Removed qmail; license does not permit modification [camield 2001-08-14]"
> But the license for qmail did not change and qmail was in the ports tree
> before - so, what happened?
That code has never been free.
> Plus one more thing:
> Quoting DJB's qmail license page :
> "If you want to distribute modified versions of qmail (including ports, no
> matter how minor the changes are) you'll have to get my approval. This does
> not mean approval of your distribution method, your intentions, your e-mail
> address, your haircut, or any other irrelevant information. It means a
> detailed review of the exact package that you want to distribute."
That's right. djb demands that we not ship modified versions without
(basically) requiring approval each time we change something. And he
is also strongly urging us to not change anything.
What he is saying is that licences are granted on a discretionary and
specific case-by-case basis.
And recent versions are completely non-Unixy in the way they mess with
To be quite honest, that is a royal pain in the ass.
So, instead, please just go get the versions from his site. We are
not even going to bother shipping a scaffold that wraps it, since we
have basically been told that we may not.
> It does not sound like modifications are not permitted at all, he just wants
> to review them. May be he did not give his permission?
Maybe we aren't going to bother each time we feel like making a change.
So, we are going to stop making such changes.
In fact, then we thought, why don't we just avoid the entire issue.
> And it's not in the OpenBSD distribution itself - I thought ports have less
> license restrictions than base.
> (In other words: Why is Netscape in the ports tree?)
Because that software is under much simpler rules for distribution,
and those rules apply to everyone, and are not on a case-by-case
basis. It is much easier to follow those rules.
> My last question: is it final decision, as with IPF or qmail might make it
> back to the ports sometime in the future?
No, these things will not be coming back. If you have problems with
the decisions we have made, please take them up with djb. We've
thought this through long and hard. It is out of respect for djb's
wishes that we have gone this route. If his licenses became more
free, then perhaps we might change our mind, but what do you think the
chances are of that?
Again, take this up with djb, we feel that we have talked enough about
it, since this has been a pain in the ass for years.
End of conversation, ok?