ISC considering a change to the BIND open source license

Mukund Sivaraman muks at
Tue Jun 14 20:42:45 UTC 2016

On Tue, Jun 14, 2016 at 08:06:55PM +0000, Evan Hunt wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 14, 2016 at 12:38:14PM -0700, Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:
> > In reality, there IS no "middle ground"   If you truly believe a
> > piece of software SHOULD be freely licensed, then that includes the
> > idea that commercial entities can use it as they see fit.
> Thank you for the explanation.
> As I undesrtand it, commercial entities *will* be able to use BIND as they
> see fit, even if the relicensing goes ahead.  Share bug fixes back, or get
> a support contract, and we're good.  We really just want everybody to be a
> mensch about it.
> On a personal level, I actually agree with you, and I find the idea of
> relicensing somewhat regrettable.  It's not that I'm against the GPL, I
> think software creators should be able to share their work on whatever
> terms they like, but *personally* I like giving my stuff away with as few
> encumbrances as possible.  It's disappointing to me to add any burden to
> it at all.  I do like eating, though, and I won't be able to fix as many
> bugs if I have to stop doing that. :/

This last sentence sums it up well.

There's been quite some internal discussion about the license change,
which is not a lightly attempted and achieved endeavour, and the
discussion is still continuing. There seems to be some public anger at
such a license change, but it is misdirected. Be angry for us, not at
us. We care deeply about BIND's users, the DNS and DNS users in general
(if you have any doubt about that, look at communication with ISC staff,
even if it is with a member of staff from a company that's shipping a
closed fork of BIND, or even another DNS implementation).

In reality, the world is not perfect as we expect it to be, or we would
not have to attempt this license change. It is a means to an end, for
the goal that we most care about which is to make BIND and the DNS
better and have BIND available to everyone to use, modify.

Your anger is misdirected when you say things like "kicking all BSD
distributions in the teeth". That's not what we're thinking of.

(also speaking for myself, not ISC.)

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: signature.asc
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 801 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <>

More information about the bind-users mailing list