Re: Re: XFree86 4.4.0 RC3

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On Wed, Feb 18, 2004 at 03:35:13PM -0800, Torrey Lyons wrote:

>1. The many contributor problem: Others holding copyrights in the 
>tree have been encouraged to consider adopting this license. The 
>attribution requirements could soon become unwieldy.

No more so of a burden than, say, with the GPL or revised BSD license,
where the copyright notices at a minimum need to be included in
accompanying documentation.

>2. The multiple acknowledgements problem: The license presupposes 
>that there is one place acknowledgements are gathered. The OpenBSD CD 
>case has been pointed out where only graphics designers are credited 
>on the CD case. The only way to satisfy the new license requirements 
>appears to be to credit XFree86 everywhere 3rd parties are 
>acknowledged. This places a burden on documentation and package 
>design, which could be substantial combined with #1.

Hopefully the FAQ for the 1.1 license at
http://www.xfree86.org/legal/licenses.html will help clarify this.
If anyone has further questions regarding specific details, just post
them here.

>3. The single file problem: What if I only want to borrow part of one 
>file with the XFree86 copyright? In the past I could use this for my 
>proprietary or other purpose as long as I retained the 
>copyright/license notice in the source code. Now I have to credit the 
>XFree86 Project in any binaries I produce. In answer to your question 
>above, sometimes XFree86's contributions may be too small to warrant 
>being specially recognized. The requirement that credit has to be 
>given for even tiny contributions has the practical effect of making 
>XFree86 copyrighted code unusable on certain projects. This goes 
>against the original idea of the MIT/X11 license.

You need to be careful using the terms XFree86 (1.0) license, MIT license,
X11 license interchangeably.  There are several different forms of these
licenses.  None of them specifically deal with the distinction between
source code and binaries, but at least two versions which are very widely
used both in the XFree86 source tree and the original X11R6 source trees
do specifically require that the copyright notice and license details
be included in "supporting documentation."  The version that the XFree86
1.0 license was based on does not have this specific requirement, but
instead a less specific statement about including it in all substantial
portions of "the Software."  As far as I recall, which of the three
common versions of the "MIT/X11" license ended up being adopted as the
XFree86 1.0 license was more accidental than intentional.

David
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