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Re: FWD from XFree86 forum: GPL-incompatible license

On Tue, Feb 10, 2004 at 05:00:25PM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 10, 2004 at 01:10:04PM -0500, Leon Shiman wrote:
> > ------------- Begin Forwarded Message -------------
> > From: David Dawes <dawes@XFree86.Org>
> > To: Richard Stallman <rms@gnu.org>
> > Cc: forum@XFree86.Org
> > Subject: Re: [forum] GPL-incompatible license
> [...]
> > Basically, XFree86 licensing policy has always been to allow licences
> > that satisfy both of these extremely important requirements:
> > 
> >    1. Be an Open Source licence.  
> >    2. Not require that source code be made available for binary-only
> >       distributions of derivative works.
> > 
> > The general preference has been for licences like the BSD and MIT
> > licences.  By BSD, I mean the original BSD licence in common use when
> > XFree86 began.  Historically, GPL compatibility has not been an issue
> > one way or the other regarding XFree86's licensing policy and so to make
> > it an issue now would represent a very real change in our licensing
> > policy.
> For the Debian Project, I recently did some investigation of the claim
> that the 4-clause BSD license, which I think is what David is referring
> to (since the Regents dropped the advertising clause in 1998, and I
> XFree86 was founded years prior), is preferentially used in the XFree86
> code base.
> That license is indeed used, but an MIT-style copyright is used on more
> code in XFree86 copyrighted by the Regents than the 4-clause BSD license
> is, despite the latter being the representation of the Regents'
> copyright license in XFree86's LICENSE file.
> The messy truth is that there is code copyrighted by the Regents in
> XFree86 under *several* similar but distinct licenses.  Some with an
> advertising clause, some without.  Some GPL-compatible, some not.
> My findings follow.  Please feel free to ignore the references to
> DFSG-freeness, which is a concern primarily for the Debian project, and
> my footnote discussion of unpacking a Debian source package.
> If this next part bores you, skip to the end for my conclusions.


Again, you do great job in following the licence stuff, and
felicitations to you and to the rest of the X strike force for the soon
to be upcoming 4.3.0-1 package.

I have an interogation about the aim of this mail though. You are
clearly following up on a mail from forum@xfree86.org, but in this
response you don't CC them. Is this willed from your part, as a way to
discuss this issue without XFree86 and then inform them about this ? Or
maybe it was only a mistake from your part and you forgot them in your
CC list ? Or maybe some other reason ? Could you please clarify your
position on this point, and eventually forward this list to the
forum@xfree86.org mailing list too ? 


Sven Luther

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