Re: License issues

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On Sat, Mar 06, 2004 at 02:14:27AM +0100, Sven Luther wrote:
> > 
> > There was nothing changed.  It was a clarification of existing policy.
> 
> Sorry, but this is simply not true. 

What has changed?  If you were using the X server in a GPL project, you
were already violating the GPL.  Making the license that applied to
parts of the X server apply to the whole of it has changed nothing.

> The concerns are about xlibs and the other client side libraries. As i
> understand, apart from the licence faq mention, XFree86 has not made a
> definitive commitment to not change this in the future, and this creates
> some concern. This may be comming after a future meating of the XFree86
> deciding comitee or whatever though.

It doesn't matter if they haven't committed to not change the license in
the future.  We can argue theoretical cases all day long (What if
XFree86 was bought by MICROSOFT??!?!?) but what good does this really do
anyone?  Right now, the xlibs issue is moot, as it has always been.
When the evil David Dawes and his cronies concoct some plan to take over
the world and change the xlibs license to something GPL-incompatible
later, that would be the time to be concerned about it.  By that time,
maybe the GPL is revised, or dynamic linking has precedent in court to
not cause a work to be a derived work.  Who knows?

> > The people who are excluding XFree86 on license terms are simply being
> > zealots and resistant to a perceived "change", when in fact there has
> 
> Yeah, i think you are living outside of reality, please open your eyes.

If you want to open them for me, point out exactly what has effectively
changed. I have been following this discussion for weeks, and throughout
all the flamewars I have been able to deduce the following:

1) XFree86's license is not GPL-compatible
2) XFree86 has always allowed contributors to license their works in
whatever manner they wish that conforms to XFree86 licensing policy.
This includes demanding credit for their work.
3) The new license does not apply to client-side libraries, only the X
server.

----
To avoid issues with application programs such as KDE and GNOME and
other X-based applications, that are licensed under the GPL, the 1.1
licence is not being applied to client side libraries.
----

What's the problem?

> > 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?
> 
> Please explain clearly what the problem is.

People have already contributed code to the X server under their own
copyright under license terms compatible with XFree86's license policy.
If XFree86 changes its license to appease everyone who wants it to be
GPL-compatible, they must either contact each contributor for
relicensing, or they must remove the code of all those contributions,
because otherwise they would be violating the licenses of the individual
contributors.

> > 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.
> 
> This is clearly not true, and was not what i was lead to believe when i
> contributed to the XFree86 codebase. Not that my contributions are many,
> but still.

What were you led to believe?  That your works would not be combined
with other works compatible with the XFree86 license?  That's silly,
because such works already existed in the codebase at the time your
contributions were made.

-- 
Ryan Underwood, <nemesis@xxxxxxxxxxxx>

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