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Re: XFree86 license difficulties

On 2004-01-30 19:31:44 +0000 paul cannon <pik@debian.org> wrote:

same reasons they give appear to apply also to the clause added by the
XFree86 folks. That is, one cannot distribute something under the GPL
with added restrictions like the one above quoted.

I'm still thinking about this, but I tend to agree with the views above.

Since it appears that the new XFree86 license will be GPL-incompatible
(although still DFSG-free(?)), what issues does this raise for Debian?
Is there any chance, at this point, of convincing the XFree86 Project,
Inc. not to make those changes in the license?

I think we can be sure that developers will try. At least two are already looking at ways to do this.

I think the proposed licence is ambiguous at best and probably GPL-incompatible, but we haven't heard from FSF yet. I hope they comment soon. People have also made allegations about the project removing existing copyright notices on contributed code which we would need to look at. I don't know if that's true: it would be quite ironic.

If all this goes really badly, I would expect Debian to support one or more of the forks or alternatives. I think there are Xouvert and xserver.freedesktop.org at least. I have not looked at either yet and would welcome an introduction or URL from someone who has. (Please don't do the work if you haven't already, unless you really want to.)

If XFree86 does not consider linking to create a derived work which must
carry the same restrictions as those in the library, then it does not
seem there is a problem; an application linking against Qt and Xlib
could be solely under the GPL. Or am I off my rocker here?

Does XFree86 have some extensions that they developed? If so, how can it not be a derived work if you use those XFree86 extensions? It would be a mess, looking at each application.

Is it likely that the XFree86 Project will take that stance on linking?

I don't know. Why isn't it explicit in the licence if they don't?

MJR/slef     My Opinion Only and possibly not of any group I know.
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