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X11 non open-source?


I'm sure all of you have heard what happened to X11R6.4.  I wrote an
E-mail about it to one of the Open Group head honchos, and got back a
pretty decent response.  What do you all think of this?  It apparently
won't be quite Open Source now, but still free for XFree86 to use.  It
still stinks, but maybe it's not *quite* as bad as some people think.

Does this mean Linux distribs will have to pay to include XFree86, or
does it only affect real commercial X servers?  Maybe I'll write him
back to ask if no one here knows.

Anyway, here's the message:

         Re: X11 non free???
         Mon, 06 Apr 1998 19:51:36 -0500
         David Knorr <d.knorr@opengroup.org>
         Micah Yoder <lyoder@cyberis.net>

At 11:08 PM 4/2/98 -0800, you wrote:
>I just want to add my voice to the undoubtably countless people who do
>not believe this new licensing system is a good idea.
>I sincerely hope there will be a reconsideration here - NOBODY will
>benefit!  The fragmentation between free and non-free X will just make X
>harder to develop for, and will probably mean fewer applications for
>Micah Yoder
>Linux: Everything else is just a toy!

I understand your concerns about these changes.  You 
specifically mention that the free community will no longer
be able to use the technology.  This is just not the case.  We have
tried very hard to set this up so as to continue the free access
of X11R6.4 to most people.  It is still freely available on our web 
site and many mirror sites, and it is still fine for organizations
like XFree86 to distribute binaries and source at no charge.
There is no licensing restriction to prevent XFree86 to continue to
do as they always have.

The only people who will need to pay for a license to the technology
are those companies who turn around and resell it.  While we
have many supporting companies, there are still quite a few
companies who make a profit selling technology that we spend
money to produce.  We are just not able to continue to support
the technology without the return support of those companies who
build their businesses selling it.

The technology continues to be as open as it has always been
in terms of direction by the industry, through the X Project Team;
in terms of standardization, which remains unchanged; and in
terms of access to source code, which is still freely available.

The Open Group remains a vendor neutral not-for-profit organization,
chartered under the US National Cooperative Research Act.  As such,  our
primary obligations are to add value to the industry by our
and to have equitable licensing terms.  Being not-for-profit doesn't
mean we
provide everything free, nor does it mean we do not want to make a
just that we put the profit back into the technologies.  The X Project
is self funded.....providing fully supported X11.......and there are no
volunteers here.

While we recognize that this change will upset many people, we
believe that it is better than the upset that would be caused by
shutting down future central support for the X Window System
technology through the X Project Team.

If you haven't already, please visit our web site for more details on
this subject, including FAQ's at:  www.opengroup.org/desktop/x

Warmest Regards,

Dave Knorr
Business Area Manager
Desktop Technologies

                                 David E. Knorr
    T H E           Business Area Manager - CDE/Motif/X
   O P E N                11 Cambridge Center
  G R O U P           Cambridge, MA  02142

   EMail:   d.knorr@opengroup.org               Phone: (617) 621-7227
   Web:  http://www.opengroup.org              Fax:     (617) 621-8808

Linux: Everything else is just a toy!
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