[ntp:questions] poll interval - RFC compliance question
david at ex.djwhome.demon.co.uk.invalid
Sat Jun 14 20:34:18 UTC 2008
David L. Mills wrote:
> statement in the distribution. Note very carefully that there is no
> license, only a copyright statement that clearly specifies no fee, no
If that were really true (that there was no licence), almost no-one
would be able to use the code. A copyright notice says what is
copyright and who owns the copyright. It just removes doubt as to
whether a licence is needed (not much software was written by people who
have been dead for 70 years, so most software needs a licence; software
written by the US government, at least within the USA, is a special
case), and tells you who is able to give that licence.
A licence is a statement of permission to do things which would
otherwise be illegal. Copying the ntpd code would be illegal without a
> restictions on use other than including the copyright statement itself
> in derived products.
The statement that there are no restrictions is actually the licence.
You may be confused by commercial software, which doesn't use a bare
licence, but uses a licence agreement, which is actually a contract.
Note that some people argue that bare licences are not possible in many
countries. Some people even argue that bare licences are not valid in
To the extent that copyright agreements are optional, their purpose is
normally to give you a copy only on the condition that you do not
exercise some of the rights that you would have if given the copy
without making the agreement.
I suspect Open BSD's problem is that the statement of permission doesn't
actually give all the rights that are restricted by copyright. In
particular, if it says "use", that has a technical meaning that doesn't
include copying to give to others.
People in the ntpd community generally assume that the copyright owners
will act as though the licence you intended exists, but others may want
to act on the basis of what the licence actually says.
Normally the following would be taken as implied, but I will make them
explicit, as an example. I'm not a lawyer, so they may well not be
watertight. You should independently verify any statements about the
law made here.
Copyright notice: This article is Copyright 2008 David J Woolley of
Parts prefixed ">" are Copyright 2008 Doctor David L Mills and/or the
University of Delaware (and are included under the doctrine of fair use
for criticism or review).
Licence: David J Woolley grants permission for all acts covered by
copyright law which contributors to a USENET newsroup gatewayed to a
public mailing list would normally expect to be permitted.
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