Re: License issue, and a possible solution
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Actually, I do not believe the heat is because of GPL purism. It is because combining it with GPL code or creating any kind of combined work is a violation of the license. Also, based on the copyright, any binary written for X that has internal third party credits, such as in a pop up window, and does not credit the XFree86 project in the same place, is in violation of the new license.
As a distributer of third party software, you take on this responsibility and are really leaving your pants down. If you think a free software group/company/etc won't turn on you down the road and use any weapons at their disposal against you if they decide they do not like you for some reason, just re-visit the Caldera story. This is why we have chosen to go with the X.org branch for our projects.
While we don't consider the license a problem (especially w/ the widely unkown fact that the client side libraries aren't affected by the change), we think
See, this is part of the problem. It would not be widely unknown if it stated it in the license. If this is their true intentions, then why doesn't it? When you are signing a contract, for example, no matter what the other party claims their intentions to are, it is what it says on that piece of paper that counts. Most of the mainstream software distributors see this and this is why they immediately branched.
In reality the client side libraries ARE affected by the change. That is why they make the statement in their license FAQ,
"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 license is not being applied to client side libraries."
If the license did not affected them, then they should be able to apply the license. Hence, a quote from my earlier posting which was directed at the XFree86 project:
"This is essentially saying that all distributions including software under the GPL or similar license that is linked to XFree86 libraries and includes XFree86 headers will be in violation of the copyright, that you realize this, and that you are choosing at your own discretion when and where to enforce it."
Even if David Dawes has good intentions, it is just as high of a risk re-distributing under a copyright that you cannot guarantee compliance to.
Let's say the entire free software community accepted the new 1.1 license and it spread throughout most of the X code over a couple of years. Then a big company such as Microsoft came in and offered a few million dollars to buy The XFree86 Project, Inc. and they sold out. Most people do when offered enough to retire on the rest of their lives and it would be pocket change for such a big company. Do you think Microsoft would have the best interest of the open software community in mind when choosing how to exercise the license? Since X is one of the most integral parts of open software and bringing it to the desktop of the average user, they would have the entire open source community by the balls.
I also find it interesting that when David Dawes was directly asked in one of the earlier postings for examples of where the X licenses has been abused or where anybody had tried to falsely claim credit for the code, I never saw any reply. Please feel free to direct me to it if I overlooked it. Since author accreditation was their whole excuse for the license change, I am in question of their true motives.
Kurt Fitzner. _______________________________________________ Forum mailing list Forum@xxxxxxxxxxx http://XFree86.Org/mailman/listinfo/forum
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