Re: FWD from XFree86 forum: GPL-incompatible license

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------- Forwarded message -------
From: "Mike A. Harris" <mharris@xxxxxxxxxx>
To: xorg_foundation@xxxxx
Subject: Re: FWD from XFree86 forum: GPL-incompatible license
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 19:41:59 -0500 (EST)

On Tue, 10 Feb 2004, Branden Robinson wrote:

My findings follow. Please feel free to ignore the references
to DFSG-freeness, which is a concern primarily for the Debian
project, and my footnote discussion of unpacking a Debian source
If this next part bores you, skip to the end for my conclusions.
I conclude that David is probably correct to assert that the XFree86
Project, Inc., has historically been indifferent to the
intersection of the licenses of code it provides as part of the
XFree86 source distribution. However, the de facto impact of
the change to the XFree86 Project, Inc.'s own license is to
render the XFree86 source distribution GPL-incompatible in a
great many more aspects, and in a much more fundamental way. A
review of the actual occurences of GPL incompatibilities in the
findings above will show that they are small and peripheral in
The path to clearing away GPL-incompatibilties due to the BSD
advertising clause for the entire XFree86 source tree (as of
XFree86 4.3.0, anyway) seems fairly short. Given that, it seems
a shame to entrench a similar incompatibility both broadly and
deeply. To do so would seem to represent a very real de facto
change in the XFree86 Project, Inc.'s licensing policy.


The effort that you've spent to dig into the details and research
all of these copyright and licensing related issues is very much

I must say that I also agree with your conclusions, and believe
i t is a very good start on planning what work would need to be
done to change the situation on the affected portions of code.
Perhaps we should stick this up on the wiki
somewhere so that people interested in volunteering are aware of
some possible things to work on.

Thanks again for spending your time investigating these legal
issues, as it is very likely to benefit the whole community.


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