Forking cdrtools as cdrkit
So, why the fork? CD/DVD burning is a complicated business that needs a
lot of knowledge, so forking such a big collection isn't a step to be
taken lightly. It requires a lot of development effort that could be put to
better use elsewhere.
In the past, we, the Debian maintainers of cdrtools, had a good and
mutually cooperative relationship with Jörg Schilling. He even
commented on Debian bug reports, which is one of the best things an
upstream maintainer can do. Naturally, there were occasionally
disagreements, but this is normal.
Unfortunately Sun then developed the CDDL and Jörg Schilling
released parts of recent versions of cdrtools under this license.
The CDDL is incompatible with the GPL. The FSF itself says that this
is the case as do people who helped draft the CDDL. One current and
one former Sun employee visited the annual Debian conference in Mexico
in 2006. Danese Cooper clearly stated there that the CDDL was
intentionally modelled on the MPL in order to make it GPL-
incompatible. For everyone who wants to hear this first-hand, we have
video from that talk available at .
You can read the FSF position about the CDDL at . The thread behind
 contains statements on the issue made by Debian people; for more
context also see the other mails in that thread.
In short - the CDDL has extra restrictions, which the GPL does not
allow. Jörg has a different opinion about this and has repeatedly
stated that the CDDL is not incompatible, interpreting a facial
expression in the above-mentioned video, calling us liars and generally
appearing unwilling to consider our concerns (he never replied to the
parts where we explained why it is incompatible). As he has basically
ignored what we have said, we have no choice but to fork. While the CDDL
*may* be a free license, we never questioned if it is free or not, as it
is not our place to decide this as the Debian cdrtools
maintainers. However, having been approved by OSI doesn't mean it's ok
for any usage, as Jörg unfortunately seems to assume. There are several
OSI-approved licenses that are GPL-incompatible and CDDL is one of
them. That is and always was our point.
For our fork we used the last GPL-licensed version of the program code
from Cdrtools  and killed the incompatibly licensed build system. It
is now replaced by a cmake system, and the whole source we distribute
should be free of other incompatibilities, as to the best of our current
Anyone who wants to help with this fork, particularly developers of
other distributions, is welcome to join our efforts. You can contact us
on IRC, server irc.oftc.net, channel #debburn, or via mail at
email@example.com. Our svn repository is
 Cdrtools 2.01.01a08 from May 2006, http://cdrecord.berlios.de