Wayland not MIT-licensed / FAQ wrong

Pekka Paalanen ppaalanen at gmail.com
Fri May 29 00:21:00 PDT 2015

On Thu, 28 May 2015 14:15:52 -0700
Kristian Høgsberg <krh at bitplanet.net> wrote:

> Yes, it appears you're correct. The HPND license is widely used in X
> (even new additions such as
> http://cgit.freedesktop.org/xorg/xserver/tree/dri3/dri3.c) and I think
> I assumed it was the most recent/modern version of the MIT license. It
> was certainly the intention to change the license to MIT and that's
> what all contributors acknowledged when we relicensed. Let's wait a
> few days and see if anybody objects, but otherwise I think it'd be
> fine to just change the Wayland and Weston licenses to the actual MIT
> license.

I certainly do not object personally, but I can only agree from my
personal own behalf.

> On Thu, May 28, 2015 at 5:06 AM, Markus Slopianka <kamikazow at gmx.de> wrote:
> > Hi there.
> > I'm one of the authors of Wayland's Wikipedia article
> > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayland_%28display_server_protocol%29>.
> > While writing it we noticed some discrepancies in your licensing.
> >
> > Your FAQ states that Wayland is MIT-licensed
> > <http://wayland.freedesktop.org/faq.html#heading_toc_j_1> although the actual
> > license text <http://cgit.freedesktop.org/wayland/wayland/tree/COPYING> uses
> > the wording from the deprecated Historical Permission Notice and Disclaimer
> > (HPND) license <http://opensource.org/licenses/HPND>.
> >
> > This, btw, also leads to the weird situation that this particular wording has
> > not been declared a Free Software license and GPL-compatible by the FSF (even
> > though there are no clauses that would prevent that).
> >
> > The HPND is also not just a simple re-wording of the MIT license because the
> > HPND carries a no-promotion clause like §3 of the 3-clause BSD license
> > <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BSD_licenses#3-clause>.
> >
> > The easy but still awkward solution (because the HPND is deprecated) is to
> > simply fix the FAQ.
> > However, I'd suggest to replace the HPND text with the 3-clause BSD license.
> > The 3-clause BSD license is functionally the same, just with different wording.
> > As such replacing the license text would IMO not be a re-licensing of Wayland
> > in the sense that each developer (or 95%, according to Mozilla
> > <https://blogs.fsfe.org/ciaran/?p=58>) would have to agree with it.
> > As I see it, it would merely be a editorial change like correcting bad grammar
> > or a typo.

So the core of the complaint is that we call the license we use by a
wrong name?

And we really should be using an exact text that has been explicitly
endorsed by FSF? For benefits I can believe are there, but I'm not
aware of.

I've always been confused with the myriad of slightly differently
worded "MIT-like" licences.

How can I trust that you know better, and this really is ok? Just
wondering since I do not have the faintest clue about legal issues,
except that common sense does not apply. I trust Kristian, but I don't
know who Markus is, and I do not trust Wikipedia.

I would probably trust information officially published by
opensource.org and FSF, so pointers there that we can and should do
this change would be appreciated.

Nevertheless, if no-one objects, I won't either.


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