XFree86 gone from Fedora Core? WHY!?

William M. Quarles quarlewm at jmu.edu
Fri May 21 08:02:31 UTC 2004

Rodolfo J. Paiz wrote:
> At 22:13 5/20/2004, William M. Quarles wrote:
> Actually, you just made me think of something: perhaps X.org's
>> republishing* of the XFree86 4.4.0rc2 code was what prompted the license
>> change.
>> *(borderline stealing, a.k.a. nearly violating the "You can do what you
>> like with the code except claim you wrote it" clause)
> No one is likely to sue you for slander or libel. But when you make such 
> strong accusations in a community like this, you had better be prepared 
> to back them up somehow if you want anyone to have any respect for you 
> later. Certainly *I* would like to hear why you feel this is a truthful 
> accusation.

OK, you might be right, I might be exaggerating here.  But I did find
something that X.org has done that I can back up: borderline lying and

In the release notes you will find:

Due to the new XFree86 1.1 license introduced in XFree86 4.4 (final),
later additions to XFree86 may not be incorporated into our codebase.

However, later in the release notes, you find this:

This product includes software developed by The XFree86 Project, Inc
(http://www.xfree86.org/) and its contributors.

It seems to me that all that X.org would have to do is reword that
sentence slightly, and they would have met the terms of clause 3 of the
XFree86 1.1 License.  It seems that they were specifically aiming to not
meet that license to avoid looking like even bigger hypocrites to people
who aren't paying attention, but to the accute eye, they're still

As for the borderline stealing, it seems to me that since their code is
an amalgam from different sources with different licenses, they would
have enough sense to put the license in the comments of every
significant code file, so that things are clear.  The only code files
that I have found (so far, I haven't downloaded every single tarball yet
of the source code, it's quite large) that contain the license are the
code for man pages.


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