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Re: X11 non open-source? (a solution?)
On Mon, 6 Apr 1998, Erik Walthinsen wrote:
> > Basicly it boils down to this:
> > X11R6.4 is free to USE but you can not DISTRIBUTE IT FOR MONEY without a
> > license. You can not distribute a larger package that X is only a
> > component part of for money without a license from Open Group. YOU MAY
> > distribute X11R6.4 provided you do not charge for it.
> So if R6.4 was included in Debian (via XFree), Debian would have to
> purchase a license. Suck.
No, Debian does not sell Debian. Trouble is, nobody else could. Debian
can include X11R6.4 but nobody could sell a CDROM with Debian on it.
> Here's a thought: XFree86.org purchases a special license from OpenGroup,
> at a fixed price, which gives them the right to scrub the XFree sources of
> the OpenGroup license, and distribute freely. XFree wins, OpenGroup wins,
> and Linux and others win. Commercial entities wanting to do X stuff will
> either go to OpenGroup for the latest and greatest, plus a direct say in
> R6.5 and above, or use XFree, and just use whatever comes down the
> pipeline. Those who can would contribute to XFree86.org, to pay for the
> R6.4+ license.
> Does that make sense? Should it be proposed somewhere? Are there holes in
> it that would have to be plugged? Would XFree86.org and OpenGroup go for
> it? Is public pressure and bad press enough to force it?
It would have to work something like this:
XFree86 buys a special license from Open Group for $10,000 and calls
their product X11F6.4. In exchange for redistribution, XFree agrees to
support it. I really do not think this will work because what is XFree
going to get for its $10,000 except having to support code that it did not
It is a really crappy situation and blows X completely out of the
small-time software market. I could no longer build a linux distribution
and make a living selling it to local business without laying out $7500.
Now $7500 is not a LOT of money but it is an annual fee. That requires me
to price my software according to volume. If I sell 100 copies/year, it
will need to be $75 a copy just to break even on X. FOr $75 people will
just get Win95.
Open Group has their head squarely up their collective rump.
They are going to kill a goose that never had a golden egg. Since their
source will still be downloadable for "non-commercial" use, their
functionality will be "cleanroomed" into XFree and nobody will every buy
a X11R6.4 license. Linux is a borg and will assimillate any functionality
that comes along. They can not hide behind money.
What a bunch of idiots!
Just be thankful that Microsoft does not manufacture pharmaceuticals.
Debian/GNU Linux ... the maintainable operating system.
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