XFree86 License Change

Jason Dixon jason at dixongroup.net
Mon Feb 16 22:00:09 UTC 2004

On Feb 16, 2004, at 4:51 PM, adunn at micron.com wrote:

> Hello all,
> I hope that this isn't going to start the sort of flamefest that I've
> seen elsewhere, but I'm going to take my chances.
> I've read that the XFree86 license is changing as of version 4.4
> (http://www.xfree86.org/pipermail/forum/2004-January/001892.html).  In
> fact, there's quite a brouhaha growing over on Slashdot about it 
> because
> Mandrake has elected to revert from version 4.4 back to 4.3.  Now, I 
> see
> that FC2 RC1 has Xfree86 4.3.  Does the license change mean that 
> version
> 4.3 is as far as we go (at least until the license reverts back to a
> FSF-approved one)?  Is this just a tempest in a teapot?  To me, it 
> seems
> as though the license just adds a few more lines of text to the
> distribution's documentation.

Theo DeRaadt has already informed OpenBSD users that if the license 
does not change, that XFree86 will be forked (as far as OpenBSD is 
concerned).  Theo isn't one to take licensing issues lightly;  they 
already replaced IPFilter with PF, a seemingly irreplaceable part of 
earlier OpenBSD releases.  PF is now widely recognized as superior to 
IPFilter in all possible facets.

One can only hope something positive comes out of all this.

Jason Dixon, RHCE
DixonGroup Consulting

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