Non-free (?) GLX code under GLX Public License and SGI Free Software Licence B

Timo Jyrinki timo.jyrinki at
Sat May 3 03:23:28 PDT 2008


According to [1] and [2], some/most of the GLX code in currently
is either under GLX Public License or SGI Free Software License B,
both of which are considered not to be free software licenses by FSF
[3] or for example Debian Free Software Guidelines. I couldn't find
discussion on mailing lists recently on the subject, but the
licenses cannot be considered completely MIT/BSD-like free either
because of the extra restrictions included in those.


Is project itself perfectly fine with those licenses, or is it
somewhere there on the list of things that should be remedied at some
point? It's not that the licenses would be That bad, more like they
are annoyances that should be cleaned (your interpretation may vary).
It may result in some strictly free software BSD or GNU/Linux
distributions dropping the GLX support if it's not rewritten or
relicensed. gNewSense already did that, but they apparently didn't
discuss with upstream. The problem has been known in Debian also,
though apparently it was thought to be fixed with the xfree86 -> xorg

I guess that because the problematic pieces in the licenses are mostly
about software patents, people are generally not too interested in it
since the whole (software) patent system is so broken anyway that such
clauses do not do much more harm than the whole system as a whole does
now (anyone can sue anyone over imaginary property anyway). Just my


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