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Re: FWD from XFree86 forum: GPL-incompatible license

On Wed, Feb 11, 2004 at 02:11:48PM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 11, 2004 at 07:53:49PM +0100, Sven Luther wrote:
> > On Wed, Feb 11, 2004 at 01:43:42PM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> > > On Wed, Feb 11, 2004 at 02:42:57PM +0100, Sven Luther wrote:
> > > > Branden,
> > > > 
> > > > 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.
> > > 
> > > Just my luck that when I finish the TODO list, some security holes show
> > > up that have me embargoed.  Oh well.
> > 
> > Yeah, altough i would go ahead with the upload to unstable, and send the
> > 4.2.1 security fixes trough the testing-proposed-updates queue. But you
> > know best how to handle this.
> Once the current security issue is unembargoed, I'll be able to explain
> why, in this particular case, that approach would be more work (for
> little gain, if one regards security flaws as important).

Ok, as said, you know best. I am awaiting the 18th of february

> > > The reason is simple; I'm not subsribed to the XFree86 forum list, and I
> > > generally try to avoid sending unsolicited mail to lists to which I
> > > don't subscribe.  Particularly in this case, as redistribution of my
> > > message is not restricted (it was sent to 3 public forums already).
> > 
> > Yes, altough notice that the original mails were forwarded from there.
> That doesn't really bear on my opinion about the courtesy of sending
> unsolicited mails to lists I don't subscribe to.

As opposed of the courtesy of speaking behind people's backs ? 

> > > Moreover, given David Dawes's statement that GPL compatibility simply
> > > isn't on the XFree86 Project, Inc.'s radar screen as far as its
> > 
> > Well, this might be so, but David is not the only one concerned here,
> True enough; this concerns the entire community (in my opinion), which
> is why I sent it to three lists.  The X.Org Foundation list as a conduit

You see, i was not even aware of the X.Org Foundation mailing list, and
i guess others are in the same case. So, if i had not been here, i would
have been unaware of the problem. Sure, i am hardly important in this,
but i guess that other people may be in my case.

> to the X community, debian-x so that the team of developers and users
> who are attentive to Debian X development are kept abreast of what I'm
> doing, and debian-legal so the licensing experts there can
> check my work.  Josh Triplett recently noted[1] that the license in Unix
> compress doesn't permit modification or redistribution of modified
> versions, which means the code is not DFSG-free, and not Open Source by
> most definitions I'm aware of.  I don't know if the XFree86 Project,
> Inc., considers that "Open Source" or not.

I think they would not. Their main point of divergence over the GPL
issue is that they have the added requirement that proprietary
modifications are permitted. I hardly agree with that, but i usually
respect the licence whishes of projects i contribute code to. In any
case, no modification allowed is as wrong from that perspective as it is
for debian.

> > and i think the discussion you quoted and where he responded to RMS has
> > been rather courteous (i am sure you don't say that in english) upto
> > now.
> I wasn't trying to imply otherwise, and I don't think I did.  I was just
> reading copyright notices, license statements, and warranty disclaimers,
> and doing a lot of grepping.
> > > licensing policy is concerned, I'm not sure the forum list needs to be
> > > bothered with my analysis.  The XFree86 Project, Inc., might not regard
> > > any of the issues I raised as a problem, and if so, there's really no
> > > point wasting their time with them.
> > 
> > Still, it is a usefull entry point, and the forum@xfree86.org is the
> > natural discussion place for issues related to the XFree86 Project,
> > including licencing issues.
> Please feel free to forward my comments there, then.

It was already done.

> > > You may feel differently, however, and there is nothing stopping you from
> > > redistributing my message to the forum list if you think that would be
> > > productive.
> > 
> > It was already done, altough with some kind of subpar email client which
> > fully butchered everything.
> Well, that's a shame.  You might ask the XFree86 mailing list admin -- I
> think that is Georgina Economou -- if it would be worth the trouble of
> re-sending with a more civilized MUA.

I think it was already send in a civilized way. That said, Georgina has
also been using one of those uncivilized email clients in the past, so ...

> > I wanted to ask you before you did that though.
> You don't need my permission.  It would be prudent to make sure you
> don't abuse the XFree86 forum list, though.

Well, this being a sensible issue and all, i thought maybe you would
take a different discourse when addressing the XFree86 people directly,
as opposed to discussing it in a separate place. But it was forwarded
already all the same, so i guess it doesn't change a thing.

And i don't think it is abusing the XFree86 forum list, i have been
doing misguided people redirection in the past, and it has seen more
spam and confused user-level questions that were more bothersom than a
few mostly on-topic mails would be no problem.


Sven Luther

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