Re: License furor
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Alan Coopersmith wrote:
> I understood perfectly - you misunderstand me. I was stating X.org
> is not being hypocritcial.
X.Org has never said we don't believe in attribution, and would like
to know ASAP if you find any code in X.Org that is not properly
I see that you work for or are associated with Sun Microsystems. Has
Sun decided whether to use X.org releases instead of XFree86 releases or
not? I'm guessing that with the way that you have written that
statement, they've made their decision to use X.org releases.
As for the attribution, if someone has never read the XFree86 code
before, they would have a hard time figuring out which code belongs to
XFree86. The only files that have the XFree 86 1.0 license in them
(from how much I've seen of it so far) are man pages. Then again, as
> To do so, they just need to comply with
> the level of attribution required in the licenses in the code,
XFree86 is welcome to incorporate X.Org features, just as they have been
doing for over a decade with the releases from the previous organizations
doing the main X11 releases. To do so, they just need to comply with
the level of attribution required in the licenses in the code, which
for most of the code mainly involves copying the copyright and license
notices in with the code changes.
The only difference is, once XFree86 does so, they don't have to modify all
their documentation and anywhere else they have attributions and have all
the redistributors do so as well, to include a big notice that the code
contains work from the X.Org Foundation.
Well, no one seems to have a problem doing these sorts of attributions
with Apache. And nowehere does it say, "big notice," or anything in
that license. Why should people have a problem doing that with XFree86
(which, I'll remind you, also has no references to, "big notice")? I
think you've made a weak point here. Not that I disagree with you, as I
said, I like Kurt's modification of the XFree86 1.1 license.
>>> There is nothing hypocritical in giving credit where it is due
>>> while not wanting to force others to do the same in the exact
>>> fashion prescribed by the new license.
I think that you're right.
Doesn't the modified BSD license force others to give credit in a
similar fashion (perhaps not quite as exact, but not too much looser)?
I still don't see how the modified BSD License is GPL-compatible,
whereas this XFree86 1.1 License is not, considering that the modified
BSD License contains a restriction on binary software that the GPL does not.
I still would like to know if David Dawes consulted with a lawyer on the
license prior to its inception, and on whether or not it was
GPL-compatible; and for that matter, if FSF consutled a lawyer before
accepting the modified BSD license as compatible, and also before
rejecting the XFree86 1.1 License.
Also, I'd like to reiterate that Kurt's idea of basically changing the
license to looking like the modified BSD License would be a really good
approach. At least it would fool people into thinking that the license
is GPL-compatible (even though I don't think that the modified BSD
Besides, if it's really devotion to proper attribution, shouldn't the XFree86
attribution statements say that XFree86 would never have existed if not for the
original code released by the MIT X Consortium and that 90% of the code outside
the DDX levels was originally from the X11 core releases?
Since X.org made sure that all of the licenses are intact in their
release, I was able to see that it still requires the original BSD
license, therefore X.org is not really GPL-compatible either. If you
are going to make an excuse such as, "well, everything that anybody
would integrate into their programs is under a different license
anyway;" well, the same argument is made about XFree86 4.4.0. Then
again, XFree86 4.4.0 and earlier also have code that is under the
original BSD license, so the same problem still exists those releases.
So it looks like much has to be relicensed in order to actually be
I don't know enough about the history of the code to give a qualified
response to the MIT issue that you brought up, so I'll let someone else
respond to this.
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