(Sent to COFF as too far afield for a subthread)
On 29/07/2020, John Gilmore <gnu(a)toad.com> wrote (in part):
There was another chapter to the "tar wars"
after UNIX and after POSIX.
First, thank you for the chapter. #6-)
I put the pdtar code into the public domain, so it
could be widely used.
This produced a variety of support headaches. [...] This eventually led me to
understand more of the value in using the GNU General Public License.
As everyone knows, a lot of Usenet source was released into the public
domain. I have been told, time and again, by IP lawyers never to
release s/w unencumbered. Without an appropriate encumbrance, the
author may be liable for any damage caused by said s/w -- as insane
as that sounds. (I was told that there is even case law but I cannot
remember what.) So your support woes could have been worse.