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Re: FWD from XFree86 forum: GPL-incompatible license


I have been forwarding industry-significant mssages from the Forum list to 
the xorg_foundation list because i knew that many xorg list recipients were 
not monitoring the Forum list.

David Dawes is aware of this. I have also  informed  rms.


On Wed, 11 Feb 2004 14:42:57 +0100 Sven Luther wrote:
>To: xorg_foundation@x.org, debian-legal@lists.debian.org, 
>Subject: 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 
>> > 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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