How licensing discussions can tear communities apart

Jon Phillips jon at
Mon Jan 22 09:33:45 CET 2007

On Sun, 2007-01-21 at 21:02 +1030, Rod Whitby wrote:
> When I first started the NSLU2-Linux ( project 2.5
> years ago, I explicitly banned all discussion of licensing on the
> mailing list (nslu2-linux is a mixture of mostly GPL and MIT licenses,
> but also has some proprietary Intel licensed microcode due to the hardware).
> Why did I do that?
> Because I saw how devastating licensing discussion wars can be to a
> community when I was part of the Linksys WRT54G custom firmware
> development community.  There were *death* *threats* made over licensing
> disagreements in that community.  Do you really want to repeat that?
> I plead with the administrators of this mailing list to put the same ban
> in effect here (or for the subscribers to put such a voluntary code of
> conduct into effect).  The intended licensing and manifesto of OpenMoko
> has been clearly spelled out at the inception of the project.  Let's
> leave it at that and not rip this community apart before it has even
> properly formed.
> -- Rod Whitby
> -- NSLU2-Linux Project Lead

I think limiting any discussion is like limiting free speech, where do
you ever draw the line. Rather, let's move this type of discussion to
the wiki where people can hack it out ad infinatum and let developers do
what developers do best: dream and hack.


Jon Phillips

San Francisco, CA
USA PH 510.499.0894
jon at

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