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

Daniel Stone daniel at
Tue May 6 12:42:45 PDT 2008


On Tue, May 06, 2008 at 08:09:51PM +0200, Carsten Agger wrote:
> Other distributions such as Fedora have similar issues, even though I
> don't know how they handle this particular issue. The Debian people seem
> to have at least started working on convincing SGI to change the
> licensing of their GLX implementation; do people on this list know of
> any suct contacts, or have an idea about SGI's attitude to this?

Yes, I was one of the people involved in those efforts on behalf of
Debian, a few years ago (possibly six?).  They pretty much went nowhere.

> SGI have released other things in X under more permissive licenses, so
> maybe they would want to do this with the GLX stuff also; the present
> licensing makes their code problematic for many distributions, and I
> suppose they originally published it so it could be used.

Well, you'd have to convince their legal department that the cost (and
the cost will be non-trivial) would be worth it.  I'd imagine this would
be difficult.

> If not, the GLX code will need to be replaced - but I'm not even
> qualified (as yet) to estimate the magnitude of this task. Can anyone
> give a qualified guess as to the man-hours needed for a reimplementation
> - we are talking weeks or months, I suppose? Plus extensive testing on
> many kinds of equipment. Which is why a relicensing of the SGI code is
> much to be preferred if at all possible.

I'm not completely sure, but it's hardly an afternoon's work.

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