Re: Re: Announcement: Modification to the base XFree86(TM) license.

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On Fri, Jan 30, 2004 at 11:50:40AM +1100, Benjamin Herrenschmidt wrote:
> On Fri, 2004-01-30 at 03:58, David Dawes wrote:
> > Announcement: Modification to the base XFree86(TM) license.
> > 
> > After a thorough re-examination of the XFree86(TM) license and reviewing
> > how it fits in with the Project's long-stated licensing philosophy ("You
> > can do what you like with the code except claim that you wrote it."),
> > The XFree86 Project, Inc. has made some changes to its base license.
> > This license review was prompted by a desire to ensure that XFree86 and
> > its contributors are receiving due credit for their work.  The text of
> > the modified license can be found at
> > <http://www.xfree86.org/legal/licenses.html>.
> >
> > .../...
> 
> Hi David !
> 
> I'm no license/legal expert, but do that mean the licence becomes GPL
> incompatible ? In that case, that basically means you are screwing up
> any effort to make a decent graphics driver model in the linux kernel.

Benjamin: 

  Notice that this only applies to code marked as copyrighted by the
  XFree86 project, and supposedly, the actual driver code is mostly
  copyrighted by their respective authors, i doubt the graphic card
  companies would want to give away the copyright on the code they
  write, and i know the driver i wrote has myself as copyright.

  As thus, i doubt this will have any influence in your particular case.

As for the GPL incompatibility, It would need proper checking, but i
think David believes there is no problem, altough many people claim the
contrary (Saying that the even Apache recently changed their licence
because of this incompatibility).

That said, this would really be a problem only for the libraries, so
maybe it would b best to have a more lenient licence for the libraries
(how much of them are copyrighted by the XFree86 project anyway, most
should be comming from X.org, no ?), while keeping this licence for the
X server propper, and whatever the actual authors chose for the drivers,
or probably the old licence.

I believe that this will serve the aim of showing proper credit, without
causing problems to fbdev driver writers, which use the XFree86 driver
source as documentation for chipset programing specs, and without
causing any interoperability problems with libraries, without having to
walk done the 'system library' clause of the GPL.

David, what do you (and other involved with this decision) think about
this ? 

Friendly,

Sven Luther
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