Re: License issues

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On Fri, Mar 05, 2004 at 06:20:13AM +0100, Dominique Boin wrote:
> Does the benefit of changing the license, supercede the disadvantages of 
> exclusion of 4.4.0 in several major Linux and BSD UNIX distributors?

There was nothing changed.  It was a clarification of existing policy.

> If yes, what will happen now? Many distributors refuse to incorporate 
> non GPL-compatible code into their releases.

This approach is not rational.  I don't know of any distributor that
does this either.  The main issue was that if the license applied to the
xlib, then the distributors would be violating the license on GPL
software linked to xlib.  There are two problems with this:
1) xlib is not covered by the new license
2) The question of whether software licenses cross dynamic linking
boundaries is still an open one, and not a good issue to jump to
conclusions on.

The people who are excluding XFree86 on license terms are simply being
zealots and resistant to a perceived "change", when in fact there has
been none.  Personally, I consider advertising clauses to be obnoxious,
but the alternative is to contact every contributor from the past and
ask them to relicense their code.  Is that more practical or less
practical than simply tying together a consistent license for the entire
X server?

> There are many plans to fork and build a real open source (thus
> GPL-compatible) implementation of X11R6. Consequently, XFree86 might
> be made obsolete in time by such an implementation with growing
> community support, and the contributors of XFree86 did work "for
> nothing".

Hey, if a GPL fork manages to make XFree86 obsolete, that's great news,
because it will represent a true leap forward.  On the other hand, it
will probably be just like any other project that forks, where
a selection of contributors participate in both communities, they are a
source of friendly competition for each other, and users/distributors
will have another choice.  People who don't want to have to redistribute
source will focus on XFree86, and people who want their contributions
protected from competition will contribute to the GPL tree.  Code will
flow both ways, only permission is necessary from the GPL people, and
this already happens e.g. with linux driver code being re-used in
XFree86.  This is not the end of the world.

> While this is of course not exactly true since not all will abandon
> 4.4.0, this possible scenario truely raises the question whether this
> license change is worth all the things XFree86 will loose by it. Is it
> really that important?

No, it's not that important, especially since nothing has changed
besides applying a consistent license to the whole of the X server which
reflects the licenses that have been allowed on individual contributions
since time began.

> Since i'm not subscribed, please direct any response to dominique (at) 
> goldenelite (dot) com

Maybe you should subscribe if you wish to participate in a mailing list.

Ryan Underwood, <nemesis@xxxxxxxxxxxx>

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