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Re: XFree86 license difficulties

On Fri, Jan 30, 2004 at 12:31:44PM -0700, paul cannon wrote:
> Several posters on slashdot and elsewhere have mentioned the similarity
> between this and the old, obnoxious BSD "advertising clause":

Let's nip that in the bud before people start wasting time over
it. It's not really the advertising clause. It happens to be a problem
for more or less the same reasons, but that's true for most of the
GPL-compatibility problems we come across.

> As we all know, the FSF [6] considers the mere act of linking to create a
> derived work for the purposes of the GPL, and claims anything linked to
> a GPL'd work must also be distributable under the terms of the GPL.
> If the XFree86 Project takes a similar stance (which, indeed, does not
> seem to be the case right now) then anything linked to an XFree86
> library must be distributable under the terms of the XFree86 license.
> That case would add somewhat deeper problems than simple license
> incompatibility; it would mean no program could link against both Xlib
> and a GPL'd library. This would seem to make it impossible to distribute
> Qt, for example.
> 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?
> Is it likely that the XFree86 Project will take that stance on linking?

The opinion of the XFree86 project is irrelevant. It is the licenses
on GPLed works that would be violated, not the license on XFree86, so
it's the interpretation of the authors of the GPLed works that counts.

That's a ridiculously huge number of people. We don't really want to
go there if we have other options.

  .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux ** | Andrew Suffield
 : :' :  http://www.debian.org/ |
 `. `'                          |
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