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430 comments

FP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135360)

roses are red
violets are blue
in soviet russia
poems write you

Re:FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135557)

Sweet.

As long as... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135361)

...the worries are in German, does it matter one jot?

WILDCAT IS ON TEH GLOVE, SMELL TEH SPOKE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135362)

Re:WILDCAT IS ON TEH GLOVE, SMELL TEH SPOKE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135435)

What's with the Spinal Tap reference? Is trolling all about free association now?

Back in the day it was all about causing the most offence. I miss those days.

Also goatse.

KTGO, all GOAT, all of the time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135468)

Rhonda Clarke is persecuting my religion!!!!

MOD PARENT UP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135680)

If I can't look at a man's stretched anus, then I have no reason to live.

If looking at a man's stretched anus is wrong, I don't want to be right.

RUSSIAN TEEN LESBIAN POP SENSATION TATU? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135603)

It's a problem (1, Flamebait)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135363)

too many licensing schemes out there.

K.I.S.S and you shouldn't have any problems eh?

Whateva

Re:It's a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135418)

too many licensing schemes out there.

It seems like the "non-copyleft" BSD license without the advertising clause is the best license. Why doesn't everyone just use that instead of coming up with a new open source license every week. It doesn't have any restrictions on what you can do with the program and doesn't have any viral effects on your code with regards to how you can license it. I've heard tons of issues with being compliant with the GPL, but have never heard of anyone with problems being compliant with a BSD license.

Re:It's a problem (0)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135697)

Yea, seriously, what's the big deal?

So you need to put a line into your documentation/splash screen/what have you that says this software was made by foo.

Whine, whine, whine.

No Alanis (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135383)

that's not irony.

eh (5, Insightful)

Cyn (50070) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135384)

the source is still out there, worst case scenario - the license isn't gpl, and they don't change it to be so - some of the developers split off and recruit noobs, and we end up with a renamed X that everyone uses - that takes a little while to ramp back up to full speed.

It's not the end of the world, but it (could) be annoying, that's for sure. I think thorough investigation is needed (e.g. try reading the license)

Re:eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135564)

Didn't work too well when we tried to maintain php3 since that was more gpl-compatible than php4.

GPL popularity? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135389)

Will this affect the popularity of the GPL?

XFree86 is using a different license, as is Apache... will this put off others using the GPL, and encourage them to use a license of their own creation that best suits their needs?

Re:GPL popularity? (4, Interesting)

__past__ (542467) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135700)

Will this affect the popularity of the GPL? XFree86 is using a different license, as is Apache...
But XFree86 and Apache (and thousands of other projects, some very important ones among them) have always used non-GNU licenses, and GPL-incompatible licenses are not uncommon either. (OpenSSH, Mozilla, ... - Apache is just adopting a new, GPL compatible license) Yet many people still use the GPL as a "default license" without much thinking, and it and the LGPL are by far the most frequently used free licenses.

will this put off others using the GPL, and encourage them to use a license of their own creation that best suits their needs?
Hopefully people will use one of the various existing open source [opensource.org] / free software [gnu.org] licenses rather than rolling their own, but other than that - wouldn't it be a good thing if people would use what best suit their needs?

Why shouldn't it be? (4, Insightful)

Chris_Jefferson (581445) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135390)

This isn't a troll, but seriously, why should it be GPL compatable? The only way to be GPL compatable is to have a licence where the software can re-licensed under the GPL. The GPL states it can only be linked with other software under the GPL (or under a licence which basically means the same thing)

If the GPL is unwilling to be compatable with anyone else, why should anyone be too worried about being compatable with the GPL.

Remember. Open source =\= GPL.

Re:Why shouldn't it be? (5, Interesting)

be-fan (61476) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135465)

The BSD license, and the MIT license are both GPL compatible. In fact, most licenses more liberal than the GPL are compatible with it. Being GPL compatible simply means that you can include that code in GPL'ed code. For developers, having the X license be GPL-compatible is a good thing.

Of course, this issue brings up some schisms between the GPL and BSD communities. However, I find the attitude of the BSD proponents on this subject somewhat strange. By choosing the BSD license, you are giving people the right to do whatever they want with their work. This means that company could take your code and include it in a proprietory app, without releasing improvements back to the community. By their decision to license under BSD, developers indicate that they are okay with this. Why, then, should any of them get mad that other developers would include BSD code in GPL'ed programs? Is GPL worse than propietory???

Re:Why shouldn't it be? (1)

Chris_Jefferson (581445) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135539)

GPL code is not worse than propietory by itself. What is bad is that some people (including myself) see the aim of the GPL to make all open-source code eventually end up under the GPL. Already increasing numbers of useful libraries are being GPLed. Just because open-source is good doesn't mean we want every piece of open source code under the GPL.

Re:Why shouldn't it be? (0, Flamebait)

radja (58949) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135604)

the way I see it: GPL lessens personal freedom by forcing you to give freedom to others, which increases freedom. I see this as analogous to murder: by decreasing personal freedom (you cant just go around killing people willy-nilly), you increase the freedom in society.

Re:Why shouldn't it be? (1)

Frymaster (171343) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135762)

Already increasing numbers of useful libraries are being GPLed

well, libraries usually realeased under the lgpl [gnu.org] - which is designed to be less viral than the gpl. give the lgpl a read. it's a Good Thing for libraries.

Re:Why shouldn't it be? (5, Interesting)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135715)

The BSD license, and the MIT license are both GPL compatible. In fact, most licenses more liberal than the GPL are compatible with it.

Actually this is not really the case if you take GPL seriously. GPL is like a prion, anything it touches is meant to turn into itself. The whole objective of GPL is deliberately and explicitly to prevent commercial exploitation. If you think differently then you have never met RMS in person and listened to him for more than 30 minutes.

I used to share an office building with RMS. I think the only person who really takes RMS and the GPL seriously is Bill Gates. Bill does believe in IP rights and so he takes the GPL as RMS intends it to be read, not as most people read it.

Take the linked screed on the 'advertisement' clause. Not having an advertisement clause is the single biggest mistake we made with the Web. If libwww had had an advertisement clause Marc Andressen and NCSA could not have plagarised the work in the way they did, they would have had to tell people that the majority of the code in Mosaic had been written at CERN. With no advertisement clause there was no requirement to tell anyone about CERN and so until about 1995 almost every press report on the Web either did not mention Tim Berners-Lee and CERN at all or did so as an afterthought.

Meanwhile Marc Andressen created a huge PR machine at Netscape dedicated to promoting Marc as the lone inventor of the Web. The fact that Eric Bina not Marc really wrote Mosaic was also rewritten. Netscape even sponsored a book to promote this revisionist history - see Architects of the Web, not only is there no chapter on Tim, the only time he is mentioned is to attack him with lies.

So no, do not take RMS's advice he has only a slight connection with reality. RMS believes in a version of anti-corporativist activism that is considered fringe by the type of people who still believe that there is no difference between Al Gore and George Bush, and plan to vote for Ralph Nader in November.

So no, not being GPL compatible is not a bug, it is something very positive that should be applauded.

As for RMS's rant on the advertising clause, it would be very easy to write a C macro and some perl scripts that compile the relevant notice section automatically. BSD does not tell every user what it is the product of Berkley every time they start a shell script. If it writes anything to the console during boot well who reads that anyway? All you need is a single one line command to print out the list of contributors. Call it credits or something.

Re:Why shouldn't it be? (4, Insightful)

salimma (115327) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135722)

However, I find the attitude of the BSD proponents on this subject somewhat strange.
I'm sure this applies only to a vocal minority.. we have Linux/GPL zealots on one side, BSD zealots on the other.
Is GPL worse than propietory???
Ever noticed how in the Middle Ages the Church was much more concerned with suppressing heresies rather than battling infidels? (the Spanish Inquisition was the tip of the iceberg, really, nothing more). Ideas similar to yours but different enough could be your worst enemies; after all, they compete for similar ecological niches, biologically speaking.

Re:Why shouldn't it be? (0)

tobocop (678528) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135484)

Remember. Open source =\= GPL.

Ahrg, must resist stupid C comment... can't

It's != you codenazi!

Re:Why shouldn't it be? (0, Redundant)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135528)

How can programmers share code with each other when there are legal restrictions?

Stallman realised this problem 15 years ago, so he made a *General* license. ReadMe [dwheeler.com]

Re:Why shouldn't it be? (1)

hummassa (157160) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135540)

The problem, if there is one, is described in the following scenario:

I come up with some VERY GOOD nvidia accelerated drivers for XFree. NVidia corp. DID NOT HELP me writing the drivers in any way, so why should I give them the right to distribute a binary "nv.o driver build 8999" based on my work and with some improvements I could use too? So, I want to license my work under the GPL. if they decide to improve and distribute a derived driver, they must distribute the source.

If XFree goes for a GPL-incompatible license, this would not be possible, because e.g., Debian would be forbidden to distribute my driver at all.

Ok, I ripped this from OSNews.

Re:Why shouldn't it be? (1)

110010001000 (697113) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135646)

I don't get it. So what if Nvidia does that? Do you lose your code? No, it is still there - under the GPL - and you still have full "rights" to it. If open source is so beneficial to everyone (as everyone around here seems to think) then Nvidia will "obviously" release their improvements as open source anyway, right?

Re:Why shouldn't it be? (1)

neurojab (15737) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135725)


Ripping something from OSNews doesn't make it right.

I don't think it's like that at all. Debian would (by their own rules) not distribute XFree86 at all. Having no windowsing system would be a much bigger problem than your missing driver. Boo hoo for Debian. If they chose to distribute an old version of XFree, you could always write your driver for it.

The XFree86 License changing slightly has nothing to do with protecting your driver code. If you released your driver under the OLD XFree86 license, (even though it's GPL compatible) NVidia could take it and use it comercially.
If you release your driver under the GPL, then neither the old-licensed XFree nor the new license could take it because the GPL is much more restrictive.

What we have here is status quo for all practical purposes... except for the GPL zealot distributions.

Re:Why shouldn't it be? (1)

__past__ (542467) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135731)

Then use another GPL-like, copyleft license without that is compatible with XFree86, or just add a clause that specifically allows people to link them together. You are the copyright owner, you can do that.

And Debian ships a lot of code under non-GPL-compatible licenses. They even distribute non-free code (which is something very different).

Re:Why shouldn't it be? (1)

Phillup (317168) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135740)

And, how does releasing your code under the GPL keep them from using it in their binary only release?

I'm serious... how could you tell? It is, after all, binary.

If they were stupid enough to do a straight copy and paste, you might find some strings that are similar. But, those obvious things can be changed.

So... while it would not be legal, it is doable.

Your choice of license does not change that... and releasing the code actually increases the chance of it happening.

I personally see this to be one of the biggest problems of our "intellectual property" system.

I think that in order to get copyright protection for software you should submit the code to some system that automatically checks for infringement... and compares the licenses to make sure the use is OK.

That is the only way I can think of (at the moment) to catch the commercial users that are incorporating GPL code into their products.

So You Prefer Fragmentation over Cooperation (5, Insightful)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135597)

If the GPL is unwilling to be compatable with anyone else, why should anyone be too worried about being compatable with the GPL.

The GPL has been THE reference license since probably before you were born (tongue in cheek).

BSD and GPL are the two original free software licenses. The BSD folks have made an effort to insure that the BSD license is compatible with the GPL not because they share the GNU philosophy (they don't), but to avoid fragmenting the free software world through stupid licensing incompatibilities. FreeBSD changed their license to make it GPL compatible, and GPL v. 2 was changed likewise to be compatible with a wider range of interests (including commercial interests that are shared with the BSD community).

The GPL is the only license many enterprises will consider releasing their erstwhile proprietary code under, as it protects them from having competitors snatch up their code and incorporate it into a competing proprietary product (in their view, competing GPLed products are not an issue, as they can reincorporate the best improvement into their GPLed product). Many of us who write code will not consider a BSD style license because we do not want our code used by freeloaders who incorporate it into non-free, proprietary products.

There are enough (perhaps a majority, even) free software and open source developers who feel this way that the GPL is, if not the majority license, a sufficiently large piece of the OSS / FSS pie that being incompatible with it means losing a huge portion of the community's input and integration.

FreeBSD, as vehement as their disagreement with the GPL is, chose to deliberately modify their license to make it compatible with the GPL for exactly these reasons: because there is room in the community for both views, but no reason whatsoever to fragment the community over those views.

After all, if one licenses under a *BSD style license, and if therefor one doesn't mind having their code placed into a proprietary product, why should one mind having it incorporated into a GPLed product (unless one's goal is simply to fragment the free software world and undermine the cooperation that makes it so effective).

Which makes one wonder about the motives of someone who would post such an inane comment actively encouraging such small minded thinking ("we don't use their license, we don't like them, so why should we cooperate!") ... unless you are someone who feels threatened by free software in general, or people who differ from your vision of free software in particular, and therefor prefer fragmentation over cooperation.

At least GPL isnt an element of closed source (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135648)

Any good copy left license will require sublicensing by that license as a requirement for compatibility. It is too hard to capture the concept of copy left in any other way.

GPL keeps source open, that might not be everyone's definition of open source ... but lots of people like that aspect, and there is plenty of worthwhile GPL software out there some of which even the XFree developers use. It is the choice to suddenly change to an incompatible which needs the justification IMO.

Re:Why shouldn't it be? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135727)

Exactly! Why is the GPL the standard against which all others are based? I think that, if we started rating the GPL's 'open-ness' against another standard, that people would soon start to decide that there's nothing free about free software.

With an organization headed by a guy who refuses to talk to people who don't say GNU in front of Linux, what kind of sharing and cooperation are we really expecting? Me, I like my GNU/libz/openssl/linux machine (Hey, if GNU wants credit, lets give credit to more of the significant parts of the system) but I'll happily accept software that doesn't mesh with Stallman's personal views on why the entire world should be thanking GNU for doing something it WASN'T able to do (Have you hurd of anything that they've put out that stands alone yet?).

Contributed code (5, Interesting)

__past__ (542467) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135400)

"All XFree86 contributors are invited to review the changes, and notify us of errors and omissions so that they can be corrected before the 4.4.0 release."
Um, wouldn't all contributors have to actively agree with a license change which affects their contributions, i.e. code they are the copyright owner of? Or did XFree86 require contributors to hand over their right, like many GNU projects do?

Re:Contributed code (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135481)

From the article: "The license change applies to the base XFree86 license, and to source files that explicitly carry a copyright notice in the name of The XFree86 Project, Inc. Copyrights and licenses in the names of others will not be affected by this change."

Re:Contributed code (5, Informative)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135655)

Well, since the original license was a BSD license, no. Anyone can take their code and redistribute it under any license they want to, including one that specifically forbids the original developers from using the new distribution. The BSD license isn't designed to protect the "rights" of the developers, it's designed to let anyone use the source in any way they want to.

Re:Contributed code (3, Informative)

Florian Weimer (88405) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135772)

Um, wouldn't all contributors have to actively agree with a license change which affects their contributions, i.e. code they are the copyright owner of?

The previous license explicitly allowed sublicensing, and the XFree86 Project is doing exactly that.

Major Problems... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135406)

- The major problem with this is that it isn't GPL compatible. There are a lot of GPL'd applications/libraries that link with xlibs, and can't anymore with this license change.

If XFree86 doesn't back out, it could spell doom for the project as a whole, unfortunatly. I'm not sure if they are going to however.. the decision making process with Xfree86 has been pretty much relegated to Dawes.

Re:Major Problems... (2, Interesting)

LnxAddct (679316) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135652)

"If XFree86 doesn't back out, it could spell doom for the project as a whole,..."

Hmmm...do I smell Xouvert? [xouvert.org] or perhaps freedesktop [freedesktop.org] ?
Regards,
Steve

yep... (0, Troll)

pb (1020) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135414)

The new license contains an advertising clause. I wonder if their recent merger has something to do with this...

Re:yep... (2, Informative)

__past__ (542467) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135574)

The new license contains an advertising clause.
No, IMHO it doesn't. The problem with the old BSD advertising clause was that you had to mention the original author in "all advertising materials". The new XFree license requires you to include the acknowledgement in documentation or "in the same form and location as other such third-party acknowledgments", for example a README or CREDITS file.

This seems to be a big difference in practice - even hundreds of such lines in the docs would be manageable, while it would be pretty much impossible to include them all in, say, a banner ad.

Of course, this doesn't mean that it's not GPL-incompatible, because it still is a requirement the GPL doesn't have. But frankly, who cares?

Re:yep... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135712)

> Of course, this doesn't mean that it's not GPL-incompatible, because it still is a requirement the GPL doesn't have. But frankly, who cares?

It would be a good thing for the GPL to have a requirement with a similar purpose, attributing things to who made them explicitly is a good habbit and helps cooperation.

Re:yep... (1)

BJH (11355) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135668)

No, it doesn't. If you read it properly, you'll see that it's quite different from the classic BSD-with-advertising-clause license.

The new XFree86 license only states that (a) you can't use their name to promote the software, which is fair enough and probably not something you'd do anyway, and (b) you have to include an acknowledgement in the either the end-user documentation or the software itself.

The BSD-W-A-C license required an acknowledgement in all advertising for your product - a much more onerous restriction.

Re:yep... (1)

hak hak (640274) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135676)

If you mean the recent rumours on /. that XFree86 and X.org (= the X Consortium) had merged: as several posters then pointed out, those rumours were simply false.

Not advertising.... (5, Informative)

juhaz (110830) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135419)

This only seems to concern documentation, not ads, so the problems described on the FSF page are not quite as bad - full page of credits on ad may be bad, but full page of credits among hundreds of other pages of documentation isn't nearly as big deal.

Anyway this seems to be rather stupid move, XFree86 seems to have enough problems (infighting, resulting diverting and forks...) already without any license trouble. If it ends up incompatible, all the more reason to concentrate on those, if the XFree86 folks want to shoot themselves to foot and slowly bleed to death, it's their choice - very stupid one but it's their nevertheless.

Re:Not advertising.... (4, Funny)

happyfrogcow (708359) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135475)

f the XFree86 folks want to shoot themselves to foot and slowly bleed to death, it's their choice

wouldn't an X client have to request to the X server to be shot in the foot, wait a while for a gun to be rendered on the local display then be shot in the foot?

Re:Not advertising.... (3, Insightful)

phaze3000 (204500) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135533)

No, remember that in X the 'server' is local and the 'client' is the app, so the X server sends a request to the client for a foot shooting event, and the client then returns the gun to the server.

Re:Not advertising.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135595)

No, the client requests a foot, the server crashes and the user shoots themself in the head.

Re:Not advertising.... (1)

ViolentGreen (704134) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135545)

if the XFree86 folks want to shoot themselves to foot and slowly bleed to death, it's their choice - very stupid one but it's their nevertheless.

I seriously doubth that the XFree89 folks are as stupid as you are making them out to be.

Decisions like this aren't just pulled out of thin air. I'm sure that they put some research into and that they believe it is the best decision for the project.

Re:Not advertising.... (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135575)

Thanks for opening my eyes to this. The first thing I noticed was that the new license looked suspiciously like the old BSD license. The advertisement contained in that is indeed very bad.

However, the requirement of mentioning the origins of your code along with other credits (note that it allows putting the credit in other places than the documentation as well) seems very reasonable.

As far as GPL-compatibility is concerned, the new license might still be compatible. At any rate, it shouldn't be a big issue. If you want to incorporate XFree86 code in yours, it makes sense that you would have to agree with their license, rather than the other way around. In other cases, you can still communicate with the server (and even link to the libraries, dynamically), without being hindered by the license.

Pointless (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135425)

OH WHY have they done this? What a stupid thing to do, take a perfectly good license and make a few stupid insignificant changes that make it more difficult for everyone else.

Not to mention that they ought to get the permission of all the contributors first.

Re:Pointless (0, Flamebait)

October_30th (531777) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135477)

Perhaps some hardware manufacturers have requested these changes?

I'd rather accept a license that's restrictive than suffer reverse engineered drivers.

Huh? (-1)

RoadkillBunny (662203) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135433)

Durch eine Anderung der Lizenzbestimmungen wird die kommende Version von XFree86 inkompatibel zu der bekannten GPL und eine Verlinkung von GPL-Anwendungen auf XFree86 wird sich problematisch gestalten
I totally agree with that.

Why this is a problem (5, Interesting)

Fluffy the Cat (29157) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135444)

The requirement to add an acknowledgement (often called the "advertising clause") is something that's not present in the GPL. The GPL states that GPLed code may only be distributed if further requirements or restrictions above and beyond the GPL are not made. It's therefore impossible to satisfy the terms of both licenses simultaneously, and therefore the extra clause makes the new XFree license GPL incompatible.

Now, why's this a problem? The XFree project doesn't include GPLed code itself, so there are no concerns from that point of view. However, if any of the code in the X libraries falls under this new license, then the FSF's interpretation of the GPL means that you wouldn't be able to link any GPLed program against the X libraries and distribute it. That's fairly bad.

On the plus side, the freedesktop.org x libraries were branched from XFree before the license change - as a result, we can pretty much guarantee that there will be libraries available that can be used with GPLed code. The end result would probably be to reduce the amount of XFree code in a distribution, rather than to increase the credit that the XFree project wants. It's almost certainly a counter-productive move.

Re: Why this is a problem (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135513)


> The end result would probably be to reduce the amount of XFree code in a distribution, rather than to increase the credit that the XFree project wants. It's almost certainly a counter-productive move.

Didn't they already cave in on another license issue several years ago, since the primary effect would have been to isolate themselves?

Re: Why this is a problem (1)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135782)

How can they cave when they're just pointing out incompatabilities in the licenses?

QT was a connundrum, it might be what you were thinking of, but there were a lot of license changes, eventually they became compatible.

(Re: Homer and Krusty. Matt Groening mentions it in the commentary track on one of the Simpson's DVD's... I think the second season. He said something along the lines that originally Homer was going to be Krusty, to work the angle of "a kid's hero turns out to be his father", but he dumped that idea... I watched that a long time ago, so I may be misquoting, but it is in there somewhere.)

Re:Why this is a problem (1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135538)

Whoo-hoo! Wouldn't this be great? The FSF ironically hoist by its own petard in feeling pressure from an uncomfortably-licensed (from their point of view) yet essential body of software! I'll bring the beer to the party (and yes, it'll be FREE BEER as in "FREE BEER")!

Re:Why this is a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135619)

Now, why's this a problem?

The answer, of course, is that it isn't a problem. There's aboslutely no problem with XFree86's licence, now or before.

no probs (0)

Alephcat (745478) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135445)

I do not really see why this is a particular problem, why shouldn't they say that you can not use their name for adverting even if it might not be GPL?

Re:no probs (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135751)

Because it possibly makes it incompatible with other licenses, for _no reason at all_. They state:

'The purpose of these changes is to strengthen the "except claim you wrote it" clause'

Brilliant. Except, of course, copyright law already _does_ this. Slap a copyright notice on it and it would be illegal to remove it. If they want a notice in the documentation, just slap another copyright notice in there. The clauses are completely pointless and handle a non-problem in a possibly damaging way. And the use of the name should be handled by trademark, which is the appropriate way to handle what you can and cannot use a name for.

License copy - site slow already (2, Offtopic)

SLot (82781) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135450)

Version 1.1 of XFree86 Project License.

Copyright (C) 1994-2004 The XFree86 Project, Inc.
All rights reserved.

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions, and the following disclaimer.
2. Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution, and in the same place and form as other copyright, license and disclaimer information.
3. The end-user documentation included with the redistribution, if any, must include the following acknowledgment: "This product includes software developed by The XFree86 Project, Inc (http://www.xfree86.org/) and its contributors", in the same place and form as other third-party acknowledgments. Alternately, this acknowledgment may appear in the software itself, in the same form and location as other such third-party acknowledgments.
4. Except as contained in this notice, the name of The XFree86 Project, Inc shall not be used in advertising or otherwise to promote the sale, use or other dealings in this Software without prior written authorization from The XFree86 Project, Inc.

THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED ``AS IS'' AND ANY EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE XFREE86 PROJECT, INC OR ITS CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.

Babelfished (4, Informative)

BoldAC (735721) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135454)

Is there a way to post a babelfished link? Does google do tranlation stuff yet?

Anyway... enjoy.

=-=-=

Does XFree86 GPL become incompatible?
Sent of demon at the Fr, 30 January 2004 around 10:21

Durch a change of the license regulations will will become the coming version of XFree86 incompatible to the well-known GPL and a linking of GPL applications to XFree86 "problematic".
Hardly the turbulences in the XFree86-Lager grew silent, seem a further controversy from the fence to to break. As David Dawes of the XFree86-Projekt communicated, the XFree86-Projekt changes its license on a new version 1.1. A change of the license represents no point at issue in the reason still, became nevertheless already in the past restrictive licenses of liberals. This time the situation seems to be however more problematic, because XFree86 becomes more restrictive.

As license can be taken further very much from the liberal, can be changed, driven out and applied all programs under the "XFree86 License 1,1" without publication of the source code. Again was added however a clause, which means that each distribution and each product, which contain XFree86 must attach a note either in the documentation or in the application on XFree86 ("This product includes software developed by The XFree86 Project, Inc. (http://www.xfree86.org/) and its contributors"). That is problematic, as the Free software Foundation already meant in another case.

The organization had not GPL compatibly classified the first version of the BSD license in the past as and had expressed substantial doubts against a linking of GPL- and BSD applications. The famous "BSD advertising clause" does not make the license unfree, cause however practical problems, including an incompatibility with the GNU GPL, so the Foundation. In the past the Free software Foundation guessed/advised to use the straight XFree86-Lizenz because it was to a large extent with the BSD license compatible and the notorious clause does not contain. Thus conclusion might probably be, because a determination of the BSD clause as "GPL incompatible" makes automatically also the new XFree86-Lizenz for GPL applications "problematic".

Which follows from the earlier declaration of the BSD license, could extensive consequences both for the Distributoren as well as for other manufacturers have. Thus GPL applications may be linked against an GPL incompatible library, this require however a note in the source code - a condition, which will fulfill hardly an application. If this note is not contained, linking is not permitted.

Thus either if XFree86 should not change their license or the Free software Foundation their declaration, then the current version of XFree86 will be probably also last release delivered by the Distributoren. Because it is questionable whether Distributoren get involved in a "problematic" use. Options during a non--change might be either freedesktop.org, Xouvert or a new Fork. Not completely averse would be also the developers. As pro Linux from KDE Entwicklerkreisen experienced, also they are not with XFree86 content and think ever more frequently about one transferred to freedesktop.org. (thanks at Rene.)

RMS is a big fat idiot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135459)

im sorry, this is the guy who wants us to say 'GNU/Linux' but he doesnt want people to put their name on the software they write? what EXACTLY is the problem with putting your name on stuff? The quickly-displayed credits screen is only there for a half second on bootup.

Re:RMS is a big fat idiot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135643)

I have an idea. Let's get Al Franken to tackle RMS from behind and put him in a headlock.

Re:RMS is a big fat idiot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135757)

You, sir, are exactly correct. Emperor RMS is, and has been for quite a while, buck-nekkid. (He should have gotten over Symbolics by now.) It's about time somebody starting publicly saying it.

Preventing SCO from using it? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135500)

Someone had to say it :)

Couldn't someone have mentioned that ... (4, Funny)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135501)

"some worries" would require a trip here [google.com] to read it in (semi-)English?

I love the translation of the first comment: (4, Funny)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135537)

With this whole license disorder I can vibrate only with the head.

If I had a quarter for every time I said that, I'd ...I'd ...I wouldn't have any quarters. And I still have laundry to do.

Re:Couldn't someone have mentioned that ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135707)

Hehe.. semi-English is right!

"With this whole license disorder I can vibrate only with the head."

Vibrate only with the head... huh?

Not a BSD-style clause. (5, Insightful)

NNKK (218503) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135505)

I'm not sure it's GPL-compatible, nor do I particularly care if it is or not, but this isn't the same as the original BSD advertising clause at all, and is nowhere near as annoying.

Here's the original BSD clause:

3. All advertising materials mentioning features or use of this software must display the following acknowledgement: This product includes software developed by the University of California, Berkeley and its contributors.

And here's the new XFree86 clause:

3. The end-user documentation included with the redistribution, if any, must include the following acknowledgment: "This product includes software developed by The XFree86 Project, Inc (http://www.xfree86.org/) and its contributors", in the same place and form as other third-party acknowledgments. Alternately, this acknowledgment may appear in the software itself, in the same form and location as other such third-party acknowledgments.

The problem with the original clause 3 of the BSD license is that it could lead to massive lists of acknowledgements tacked on to an advertisement meant to be fairly compact (e.g. a leaflette, banner ad, sign, billboard, whatever). This isn't the case with the new XFree86 license clause 3, where it only requires acknowledgement in the documentation or the software itself. While keeping track of those acknowledgements might prove difficult at times, it has nowhere NEAR the practical problems that the original BSD license had.

Re:Not a BSD-style clause. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135693)

You are missing the point. GPL and old style BSD arent incompatible because Advertisisizing clause causes so much trouble.

Old style BSD is incompatible because it imposes an restriction that doesnt exist in GPL.

This new xfree86 includes a restriction that isnt as impacting as the advertisizing clause, but nevertheless doesnt exist in GPL, so it is still incompatible.

This is a deliberate act to make life in Linux camp more pitifull. XFree86 is full of BSD bigots, that is why for example Xfree86 has its own pci manager instead of using the services provided by the kernel. Shock, horror that would mean that Xfree would be easier to use on Linux than on *BSD - no way!

Re:Not a BSD-style clause. (2, Funny)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135695)

The end-user documentation included with the redistribution, if any, must include the following acknowledgment:

Whhheww... All of my projects are already compliant!

Re:Not a BSD-style clause. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135724)

I don't believe it is a problem. Doesn't libjpeg carry a similiar clause?

Wird XFree86 GPL inkompatibel? (5, Funny)

Galaga88 (148206) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135515)

A GPL inkompatibel XMoose86 once bit my sister... No realli!...Mynd you, XMoose86 bites Kan be pretty nasti...

Advertising clause (2, Insightful)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135516)

I don't see the sort of problem in the new license that the page from GNU mentions. The old BSD license required a statement in advertising, which would cause problems if a project was composed of modules from a bunch of different BSD-style licensed projects and an ad for the new project was required to include a huge number of diclosures.

The new XFree86 license requires a statement in end user documentation, which is completely different. You can't really argue that adding a bunch of disclosures about where the modules you're using to your documentation is a huge burden. It doesn't add a substantial cost to your documentation, even if it's distributed in a printed form, unlike the cost of adding a page of disclosures to an ad.

Re:Advertising clause (1)

jas79 (196511) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135721)

You would be right if it included only one line in the manual. But what if it doesnt stop there. from the announcement:

XFree86 contributors
are also encouraged to review the license change, and let us know if
they wish to make similar changes to licenses in their name


so they are already planning to add extra lines.
And this is only for one program. how many of those lines can fit in the end-users documentation before it becomes annoying.

I wonder... (1)

CaptainAlbert (162776) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135530)

...whether certain recent high-profile disputes over code ownership might have changed a few people's attitudes to the importance of attribution?

That is, if every file has a mandatory 75-line list of copyrights, would it be harder to accuse it of being stolen?

Now in reality, the Linux kernel source code has a fair bit of copyright information plastered all over the headers, so in practice the litigious bastards [sco.com] such as those I alluded to above wouldn't pay any attention to details like that. But different people think differently.

Unlikely, but, you know.

Problem with Open-Source (2, Interesting)

TravisWatkins (746905) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135544)

This is the major problem with open-source software. All the project decide to make their own license so they can set special terms. This will only cause problems. If they would all agree on one license (GPL or not) then it would be much easier to get excited about using open-source software because I wouldn't have to read all the licenses to make sure they are compatible with each other. I also wouldn't have to worry about using a particular piece of software in an illegal manner because I would learn from Project A that I can't do certain things with it and then I would know that the same will be true for Porject B.

Re:Problem with Open-Source (1)

Lussarn (105276) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135670)

This is hardly an open source problem. Open source software have a few big licences which are used very often. And there are a few not so often used. closed source is the one which have a new licence for every program.

Re:Problem with Open-Source (2, Insightful)

__past__ (542467) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135784)

This problem doesn't seem to have impaired proprietary software, where every project/company usually invents its own license as well.

Open source is actually a lot easier, at least if you see an "OSI approved" label, you have some guarantees about what you are allowed to do. And in practice, most projects use one of the GPL, LGPL, BSD/MIT-style or Apache license anyway.

English links (0)

Syberghost (10557) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135551)

IMHO, you're posting a story in English to an English-language website, you should be posting English links. Substitute any language you want in the previous sentence, as long as you substitute it three times.

Re:English links (1, Insightful)

danlyke (149938) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135663)

Moderate me off-topic or flamebait if you must, but if you're a computer professional or want to be one it seems to me that the ability to read a little bit of French or German comes with the territory, and a little written Chinese and Japanese probably wouldn't keep you down either. Perhaps asking for some icon which denotes language after a link would be reasonable, but this "hayull, billybob, if English was good enough for jaysus..." attitude is just childish.

Of course you could have also just looked at the link, seen it was in Germany, and not clicked on it. Or would that have been too much work?

Re:English links (1)

ScottSpeaks! (707844) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135755)

I prefer a link to a site in [insert non-English language here] over no link at all. Those who can read it... will. Those who cannot read it... won't*, and they'll be no worse off.

*Actually they'll probably use Babelfish or Google's translation service to figure it out, if they're truly interested.

Re:English links (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135778)

To me it seems it could have been in any obscure language, seeing how most slashdotters seem to not bother reading articles anyway and just grab the chance to argue over silly details ;P

XFree86 is an organization of one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135617)

The Xfree86 project is an "Organization of one", and as such the loan dictator and self proclaimed founder of the project is free to do as he pleases.

Proprietary License? (5, Funny)

0utlaw (688978) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135625)

If they go with a more proprietary license, they should probably also change their name to Ex-Free86. :P

translation: Does XFree86 GPL become incompatible? (1, Informative)

Khopesh (112447) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135629)

as yoinked from babelfish:
http://babelfish.altavista.com/babelfish/urltrurl? url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pro-linux.de%2Fnews%2F2004%2F 6414.html&lp=de_en&tt=url [altavista.com]


----

Does XFree86 GPL become incompatible?
Sent of demon [mailto] at the Fr, 30 January 2004 around 10:21

Does a change of the license regulations will will become the coming version of XFree86 incompatible to the well-known GPL and a linking of GPL applications to XFree86 "problematic".

Hardly the turbulences in the XFree86-Lager [pro-linux.de] grew silent, seem a further controversy from the fence to to break. As David Dawes of the XFree86-Projekt communicated [xfree86.org] , the XFree86-Projekt changes its license on a new version 1.1 [xfree86.org] . A change of the license represents no point at issue in the reason still, became nevertheless already in the past [pro-linux.de] restrictive licenses of liberals. This time the situation seems to be however more problematic, because XFree86 becomes more restrictive.

As license can be taken further very much from the liberal, can be changed, driven out and applied all programs under the "XFree86 License 1,1" without publication of the source code. Again was added however a clause, which means that each distribution and each product, which contain XFree86 must attach a note either in the documentation or in the application on XFree86 ("This product includes software developed by The XFree86 Project, Inc. (http://www.xfree86.org/) and its contributors"). That is problematic, as the Free software Foundation already meant in another case.

The organization had not GPL compatibly classified [gnu.org] the first version of the BSD license in the past [gnu.org] as and [gnu.org] had expressed substantial [gnu.org] doubts [gnu.org] against a linking of GPL- and BSD applications. The famous "BSD advertising clause" does not make the license unfree, cause however practical problems, including an incompatibility with the GNU GPL, so the Foundation. In the past the Free software Foundation guessed/advised to use the straight XFree86-Lizenz because it was to a large extent with the BSD license compatible and the notorious clause does not contain. Thus conclusion might probably be, because a determination of the BSD clause as "GPL incompatible" makes automatically also the new XFree86-Lizenz for GPL applications "problematic".

Which follows from the earlier declaration of the BSD license, could extensive consequences both for the Distributoren as well as for other manufacturers have. Thus GPL applications may be linked [gnu.org] against an GPL incompatible [gnu.org] library, this require however a note in the source code - a condition, which will fulfill hardly an application. If this note is not contained, linking is not permitted.

Thus either if XFree86 should not change their license or the Free software Foundation their declaration, then the current version of XFree86 will be probably also last release delivered by the Distributoren. Because it is questionable whether Distributoren get involved in a "problematic" use. Options during a non--change might be [pro-linux.de] either freedesktop.org, [pro-linux.de] Xouvert [pro-linux.de] or a new Fork. Not completely averse would be also the developers. As pro Linux from KDE Entwicklerkreisen experienced, also they are not with XFree86 content and think ever more frequently about one transferred to freedesktop.org. (thanks at Rene.)

----

Why is this GPL incompatible? (4, Interesting)

dmeranda (120061) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135673)

Can somebody explain why this new 1.1 license is necessarily incompatible with GPL2 / LGPL [fsf.org] ? True, it is an annoying licence change as the FSF article explains, and may not be a smart move for the project. But annoying doesn't make it incompatible. And no one even said (that I can determine) that original flawed BSD license was in fact incompatible; just undesirable.

In fact, this seems to be less restrictive than the GNU FDL [fsf.org] license for documentation. It's not the same as past famous GPL-incompatible licenses, such as an old version of the Python license.

Re:Why is this GPL incompatible? (1)

Srin Tuar (147269) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135736)

The GPL specifically says that no futher restrictions on use of the code may be added by a redistributor or creator of a derived work.

So if you want to combine some GPL code from one project with the X source unedr this (stupid) new license, and distribute a derived work of the two you will be afoul of both copyrights and the owner of either could insist you cease distribution.

Shooting themselves in the foot (1, Flamebait)

sirReal.83. (671912) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135684)

They may not care, but if they start distributing X under a GPL-incompatible license, it will rapidly lose popularity. Developers will flock to freedesktop.org's xserver/xlibs, and users will do the same. I'm not worried, because I think xserver will eclipse XFree.

Maybe GPL v3 Can Support "Advertising Clauses"... (4, Interesting)

mmurphy000 (556983) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135694)

This does seem to be a step backward in time. Some projects, notably BSD and Apache, had "advertising clauses" like the new XFree one, but removed them. It seems odd that, in light of those moves away from this sort of thing, that XFree would elect to move toward it.

That being said, one would hope that the continued work on the next generation of GPL will consider whether or not "advertising clauses" will really result in GPL incompatibility. The mission of the FSF and the GPL is to make sure that the code can be freely used and reused. It's unclear how requiring positive attribution would interfere with that. Aren't there options for that sort of thing in FSF's Free Documentation License?

Admittedly, it's a slippery slope -- imagine a license with a clause requiring binaries be accompanied by a message advocating a particular political position. Or a particular sexual position, for that matter...

Nice link. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135698)

Nice link there. All in German. Thanks.

Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135708)

The bulk of the linux market is backing freedesktop.org for the future. XFree86 has made itself irrelevant by not adapting to the times - people want high-performance eye-candy, and XFree86 won't deliver, whereas freedesktop.org and xouvert already are!

Seen on the mailing list (4, Funny)

pavon (30274) | more than 10 years ago | (#8135753)

Contributors: You said the code would be left in the CVS under our supervision!
XFree86: We are altering the license. Pray we don't alter it any further.

New License Agreement Text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8135792)

Part A:
All previous terms and conditions remain in effect, with the exception of addendum 1

Addendum 1:
If you're Darl McBride, bite my shiny, metal ass!
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