[forum] Announcement: Modification to the base XFree86(TM) license.

David Dawes forum@xfree86.org
Thu, 29 Jan 2004 11:58:38 -0500

Announcement: Modification to the base XFree86(TM) license.

After a thorough re-examination of the XFree86(TM) license and reviewing
how it fits in with the Project's long-stated licensing philosophy ("You
can do what you like with the code except claim that you wrote it."),
The XFree86 Project, Inc. has made some changes to its base license.
This license review was prompted by a desire to ensure that XFree86 and
its contributors are receiving due credit for their work.  The text of
the modified license can be found at

The purpose of these changes is to strengthen the "except claim you
wrote it" clause of the Project's licensing philosophy regarding binary
distributions of XFree86.  While the original license covered this
adequately for source code redistribution, it has always been lacking
where binary redistribution was concerned.

This modified license falls easily within the long-standing XFree86
licensing policy, and so there has been no change to the classes of
licenses acceptable for code contributed to XFree86.  In fact, some
contributions to XFree86 were covered by a similar license already.
Contributors to XFree86 remain free to retain copyright on the code they
contribute, and can also choose the license for their code within the
long-standing XFree86 licensing policy.

The license change applies to the base XFree86 license, and to source
files that explicitly carry a copyright notice in the name of The XFree86
Project, Inc.  Copyrights and licenses in the names of others will not
be affected by this change.  Furthermore, only a subset of such files
with an explicit copyright notice in the Project's name will initially
carry the modified license, which is the core XFree86 components, and
the source files where there is no explicit author list.  The license
in the remaining files with an XFree86 copyright will only be changed
with permission from the listed authors.

The license change will be fully effective as of the 4.4.0 release.
The initial draft of the changes will be included in 4.4.0 RC3
(  A source diff showing the initial draft of the changes
is being made available for review with this announcement, and can be
found at <http://www.xfree86.org/license-200401.diff.gz>.  All XFree86
contributors are invited to review the changes, and notify us of errors
and omissions so that they can be corrected before the 4.4.0 release.
Such notifications, as well as comments about the licensing changes
should be directed to the Forum@XFree86.org list.  XFree86 contributors
are also encouraged to review the license change, and let us know if
they wish to make similar changes to licenses in their name.

* XFree86 is a trademark of The XFree86 Project, Inc., and is pending

David Dawes
President                                       The XFree86 Project, Inc