Revisiting the license unification idea

Daniel Stone daniel at
Sat Sep 22 16:26:22 PDT 2007

On Sun, Sep 23, 2007 at 12:20:29AM +0100, Daniel Drake wrote:
> Daniel Stone wrote:
> >Thinking more about this, the GPL section 1 is probably a far better
> >approximation of what we want: you can't strip any copyright or license
> >from the source, but you're not required to display it in your
> >documentation/manual/etc. 
> It would be changing the meaning of the license, but that would be ideal 
> from our standpoint: it would mean we don't have to do anything (nothing 
> in documentation, no shipping of sources) to be within license compliance.

Right, it's a desirable effect for those of us still working within the

> However, given that it's unlikely we could relicense the entire 
> codebase, we'd still have lots of code under the "must include stuff in 
> documentation" licenses, so we'd still need a way of aggregating all 
> those notices. If we could guarantee that all future code would not have 
> this licensing requirement we could do it as a one-time thing...

Unfortunately, we're extremely unlikely to get anything along these
lines from HP[0]/TOG (core code), SGI (XKB), et al.  There are a few
friendly vendors who would co-operate, but we're still left with
enormous swathes of the DIX holding the old license.

It'd be nice to get a legal opinion on a change of this clause to
something far more like GPL section 1 ('don't remove anything from the
source'), but I don't know who I'd want to ask there.  SFLC?


[0]: Acting as successor in interest to Compaq, in turn acting as
     successor in interest to DEC.
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