ISC considering a change to the BIND open source license

Evan Hunt each at
Tue Jun 14 17:45:59 UTC 2016

On Tue, Jun 14, 2016 at 10:10:16AM -0700, Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:
> I disagree with this but who am I to stand in the way of the goddam 
> almighty dollar, you're going to do it anyway regardless of what anyone 
> says, this comment thing is just window dressing.
> I would request that you consider doing one thing before kicking all
> the BSD distributions in the teeth, and that is to at least publish
> an End-Of-Patch-Release date for BIND 9.10 so that people running
> those distros know how much time they have to get it unbundled - and
> make sure the patches to the older version don't "accidentally"
> fall under the new license.

May I ask you to expand on why the MPL is a problem?  So far the distros
have all been supportive.

The ISC license (which is very slightly modified BSD) is less encumbered
than the MPL, in the sense that people are allowed to commercialize a
closed-source version of the code without giving anything back to the
project, whereas the MPL would require such people to contribute - either
financially or by submitting patches.  From an end-user perspective, I'm
not sure how it makes a difference.  Even from a commercial perspective,
the additional burden shouldn't be huge.  Is there a problem we're not
seeing?  If so, please elaborate so the concern can be addressed.

> I know it would be too much to ask that the resolver library at least
> stay under BSD license so I won't even bother.

If you mean libresolv, that's not part of BIND any longer. The
version that was formerly maintained by ISC is now part of the NetBSD
project, I believe.

> It's a goddam shame that some commercial a-holes out there have to spoil 
> it for everyone by not kicking back a few bucks of their
> ill-gotten gains to you guys.  All I can say is once you have your
> shiny new license I'm going to be mighty POed if you don't sue
> the pants off the next one of those companies that uses the BIND code
> and effs it up to make an example for the rest of them.   BIND but 
> without the bugs, indeed!   What rot.

Evan Hunt -- each at
Internet Systems Consortium, Inc.

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