On Mon, May 24, 2004 at 07:52:59PM -0500, Dr. Rich Murphey wrote:
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: forum-admin@xxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:forum-admin@xxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
> > Of Vincent Stemen
> > Sent: Monday, May 24, 2004 6:02 PM
> > To: forum@xxxxxxxxxxx
> > Subject: Re: License furor
> > On Fri, May 21, 2004 at 03:48:13PM -0400, William M. Quarles wrote:
> > > Someone respond to this man! He's making some good discussion here.
> > >
> > > I don't understand what the problem is with the new license either. In
> > > comparing it to the modified BSD license, which supposedly is GPL
> > > compatible, the XFree86 1.1 License looks almost exactly the same. Why
> > > is it specifically that the XFree86 1.1 License is GPL incompatible,
> > > whereas the BSD license is not?
> > Read the thread where we discussed this about a month ago near the end
> > of April. The exact problem was discussed in detail. It looks very
> > similar at first glance, but the following statement in the new
> > XFree86 license makes it very different.
> > "in the same form and location as other such third-party
> > acknowledgments"
> > I know of no other open source license that contains this condition.
> > As I said before, that is a legal booby trap where no distributor of
> > open source software can guarantee they are not violating the license.
> Let me get this straight. You're actually worried about legal threats? Has
> such a threat ever actually occurred or is this some new kind of threat that
> you've invented?
To try not to be too redundant, I will, again, refer you to my postings to this list in the later part of April which also provides a scenario. I hope I made my concerns clear.
> It's ludicrous to worry about legal threats from XFree86. Vendors are
> caught violating the GPL on a regular basis and face few legal threats other
> than perhaps a cease and desist. They might eventually abide by a cease
> and desist if someone is willing to spend enough money and effort to
> inconvenience them enough to make it worthwhile, but they never face any
> financial demands let alone pay damages.
Never? Come on! Are you even aware of the Caldera/SCO legal attack on Linux vendors? Caldera is a Linux distributer who we all thought supported the open source movement. Once they acquired SCO and thought they had a legal weapon, they sued IBM for $3 billion dollars! Then they turn around and sue Auto Zone, and DaimlerChrysler and are threatening everybody who distributes Linux. If the new XFree86 license infiltrated the whole industry and everybody ignored it, can you imagine what would happen if a dirty competitor was able to acquire The XFree86 Project, Inc. and most vendors were not in compliance with the license?
Not only that, you way under estimate the gravity of a cease and desist order in a case like this. X is a major component of all open operating systems and major commercial Unix's as well. It is not like having to stop distribution of some small application. If a company such as Microsoft acquired such a critical component, they could devastate the Unix and open source world. It could potentially run the Linux and BSD vendors completely out of business.
So you are saying to just ignore the license change and don't worry about legal threats? That is what is ludicrous! If there is no intention of ever enforcing this new license, then why change it in the first place? X has been extremely successful for a very long time under the original license. From what I have seen, most of the open source distributors agree with me.
> Hell, XFree86 doesn't ask them to release their proprietary code. It just > asks for acknowledgement *if and only if* they were going to acknowledge > others.
Wrong. The FreeBSD and similar licenses ask for acknowledgement. The new XFree86-1.1 licenses asks for acknowledgement in the "same place and form" as other acknowledgements. I don't think vendors can guarantee compliance to this for all applications they distribute.
> Do you think any vendor is worried about having to actually release their > proprietary code after violating the GPL?
So what are you saying? That vendors should feel free to violate the licenses and not worry about it because the guys writing the free software wont have the money to enforce it? If they are including GPL code in proprietory products in violation of the license, I think they darned well should be worried about it.
>Yes I do. Just about every major Linux vendor has rejected it except >or a few of the more obscure ones. Even Debian Linux, which is one >of the least commercialized ones publically rejected it. What makes >you think they are not "worked" about it? It seems to me they have >made it very clear that they are.
early to bed early to rise fish all day makeup lies.
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