Xorg license policy

Chuck Robey chuckr at telenix.org
Thu Aug 28 18:38:31 PDT 2008

Hash: SHA1

Dave Airlie wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 28, 2008 at 7:19 AM, Xavier Bestel <xavier.bestel at free.fr> wrote:
>> Le mercredi 27 août 2008 à 22:21 +0200, Marc Balmer a écrit :
>>> Alan, you must be on drugs ;)  Think of the embedded people.  GPL and LGPL
>>> given their viral nature is just not acceptable.
>> Weird. I used to work on embedded systems, and we used nearly
>> exclusively (L)GPL software (plus a few proprietary addons).
>> I don't remember being on drugs at work back then.
> I think what he meant, was
> Won't someone please think of the children, the children.

Several points come to mind:

It was said that Xorg is a sample implementation.  This was true of 11R4 and
prior: no one was actually using the raw sources, they were using them as a
template to base their own implementations on.  This is simply not true of Xorg:
it may be a little bit true, but the majority of folks downloading versions of
Xorg are using them to compile (either directly or via package-managers).  In
the main, Xorg is NOT a sample implementation like X of old, whatever the actual
goal has been.

So many of the GPL arguments are trying to say they are "better".  I hold those
kind of arguments as silly, and neurotic.  What you should do (in my own,
possibly neurotic opinion) is examine the actual results of the existence of
both GPL and other more liberal licenses.

The actual existence of GPL has in the main frightened 3rd party developers.  It
has spurred no actual development.  How many of you are aware of the large
number  of vendors who are actually in direct violation of the GPL, and relying
on the fact that most people won't realize they are in violation, and those few
will not have any resources to take them to court.  Both of these points aren't
true of the several different  licenses which are more free.  Those have
actually spurred some development in 3rd parties, have scared no one, and don't
have a large number of entities in violation.

I know some large company names I could mention that are in GPL violation,
although because I don't want to be sued, I won't mention them, but you all know
their names.

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