OpenBSD Journal

BSD license for IPFilter?

Contributed by webmaster on from the darren-and-his-licence dept.

Null writes : "I downloaded the lastest version of IPFilter, after hearing that Darren changed the license at USENIX. Perhaps everyone else knows about this, but it was news to me. Here is the relevant section:
"Redistribution and use, with or without modification, in source and binary forms, are permitted provided that this notice is preserved in its entirety and due credit is given to the original author and the contributors."
I hate to suggest it, but I wonder if this means we will be being seeing it introduced back into OpenBSD (at least into the ports tree) sometime soon?"

pf has come a long way, not much of a chance there methinks.

(Comments are closed)

  1. By Anonymous Coward () on

    Nope, you won't see it packaged with OpenBSD anymore.. Theo sure made that clear. Besides, I'm running OpenBSD 3.0-beta now and WOW, it ROCKS! pf itself has things IPF doesn't, and it's amazing even now. I see lots of potential with pf, even though IPF is still a lot more mature. pf is progessing pretty damn fast, and I believe it supports bridge(4) now which is just what I need for change my firewall to 3.x.

    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      I still think that OpenPF would have been a better name. :)

      1. By Anonymous Coward () on

        I totaly agree with you! 100%

      2. By Niekze () on

        hmm. think about that: "Open Packet Filter." I sure as hell don't want my firewall open. :) I'd like it closed.

      3. By Anonymous Coward () on

        How about Packet Filtering System (PFS)?

  2. By wysoft () on

    The only thing I can think of right now is: what the hell is Darren Reed thinking?

    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      ooooooooooops, stupid me. Shit! #$%#%^$%^@!&

      1. By Anonymous Coward () on

        knowing Darren, he probably doesn't care.

  3. By Magnus Bodin () on

    No no. The license still includes this statement:

    The licence and distribution terms for any publically available version or
    derivative of this code cannot be changed. i.e. this code cannot simply be
    copied, in part or in whole, and put under another distribution licence
    [including the GNU Public Licence.]

    Which is NOT BSD. But who cares anymore now when we have pf?

    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      but isn't that statement just explicitly saying something that is implied by every license out there, including BSD?

      Think about it. If you write some code, and put it under the BSD license, you still own the copyright. Someone still can't just copy all your code and relicense it as something else. Even if they were to take the code and combine it with (for example) GPL code, the code you wrote is still yours, and still BSD licensed, and thus the whole work still can't be GPL licensed unless you agree to change the license on the stuff you wrote.

      So if someone uses the BSD license plus a statement like this, I submit that it's still the BSD license. It doesn't *really* add any conditions that aren't present in the original.

      Then again, I could be confused. I really can't keep up with what's Free Software and what's Open Source and what's Open Software or Free Source any more. There are like 1,000,000 different licenses now.

      1. By The Tronitikian () on

        "Someone still can't just copy all your code and relicense it as something else."

        Actually, yes - they can. That's one of the huge advantages of the BSD license - it gives the freedom to others to take the code and do anything with it to make it suit their needs. Albeit, slapping a different name or license on it doesn't do much good, and more importantly - even if I make TronitikOS tomorrow using OBSD as my base, it wouldn't cause OpenBSD to go away, nor would it cause OBSD's license to change, even if TronitikOS is closed source, sell your soul-to-meware.

        A lot of people try to say things like "GPL is 'Free' as in 'Freedom'" or "Free as in Beer" Here's how I think of it:

        BSD is an anarchy: you take from it what you want and there aren't any laws/restrictions to stop you, even if you end up creating your own laws/restrictions. In this way it reflects life pretty well. :)

        GNU/GPL is a liberal state: it wants everyone to be good, so it has a few simple fundamental laws/restrictions to keep order.

        Taking this analogy, there's nothing stopping a BSD-licensed (anarchistic in the example?) from becoming something more restricted, e.g. GPL.

        It's sorta like Wu-wei, the chaos before Tai Chi... it can become anything. I love it; not to say that I don't like GPL or anything either, but all GPL zealots who argue against BSDlicenses are really missing a big point: they can just GPL the BSD stuff and have their way too, it's sorta pointless, because it doesn't remove the BSD original, but it grants them the securityblanket of thinking that they have more control of what they contribute to.

        One more thing that might make BSD make more sense: if someone can take a BSD source base, close the source, rename it and charge for it (which happens all the time), then why in the world should there be some restriction about changing the license to something like the GPL, or anything else for that matter? It's doesn't remove the existence of the BSD roots upon which the product was based after all.


        Start small with understanding the Free/Open license stuff, if you can wrap your mind around BSD and GPL licenses you're pretty well set. Look to _Free for All_ as a good history/account too, with some decent OBSD coverage even!

        The only thing I can think of that you may be getting hung up on is if an author starts off with a BSD license, and then migrates to something else down the line... well, even if he'd -like- to, he can't change the licenses on earlier releases - leaving those open to free reign still; this sorta premise is what happened with the development of ssh + OpenSSH. But now I'm getting way off topic...

    2. By Anonymous Coward () on

      Subject says it all. Unless OpenSSL is on the list of things to be removed from OpenBSD if the license terms don't change?

  4. By Anonymous Coward () on

    Well, Darren said he reserved the right to change the licence anytime to suit his needs .

    A sign of instability, and we have no place for unstable anything, either development or stable .

    1. By Anonymous Coward () on

      All authors (of software) have the right to change their licence as they see fit and it happens all the time. Free software doesn't pay any bills.

      1. By Anonymous Coward () on

        yeah, right, but still an instable state of mind. Know something? with pf I can be sure the licence will not change because the developer woke up on his left foot.

    2. By Deus Ex Machina () root@localhost on mailto:root@localhost

      pf is being patched at a rate of about 1.6 changes per day since its import (1.160 is the current revision) and has changed considerably in the last couple of months, with more yet to come.

      For those that are looking for stability, when will pf become stable on both an operational and source code level ? I would be _VERY_ concerned if the rate of change continued at this level all the way into the release of 3.0!

  5. By Anonymous Cowardly Ex OpenBSD user () on

    I value maturity in firewall code. I won't use PF on a production machine until I have reason to believe that it is as mature as ipfilter. For now, I am forced to go back to Solaris on gateway machines.

    Don't get me wrong- I love OpenBSD. But not enough to take that big a risk.

    1. By moth () on

      carry on using ipfilter then and patch it from darren's source as it develops, no need to go use another os, surely?

    2. By wysoft () on

      Want a BSD with IP filter included by default? Why don't you give NetBSD a try? Surely anything is better than Solaris.


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