Subject: (fwd) XFree86 announces position statement about X11R6.4 licensing
To: None <current-users@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Hubert Feyrer <>
List: current-users
Date: 04/08/1998 12:22:11
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From: (David Dawes)
Newsgroups: comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.announce
Subject: XFree86 announces position statement about X11R6.4 licensing
Date: 8 Apr 1998 03:43:15 -0500
Organization: The XFree86 Project, Inc
Lines: 99
Message-ID: <6gfdb3$>


Marc Evans
One Indian Head Plaza
Nashua, NH 03060

April 7, 1998, Bellaire, TX


The XFree86 Project announces its position regarding the recently
announced licensing of X11R6.4 by The Open Group (TOG) of Cambridge MA.
"As a direct response to the new licensing terms made by TOG a week ago,
we have found it necessary to state publicly the position and future
direction with which The XFree86 Project will proceed," said David Dawes,
President of The XFree86 Project, Inc.

The X11R6.4 sample implementation (SI) from TOG comes with a new license.
The new licensing reduces the freedom with which their SI may be used.
This is because a license fee must now be paid by those who generate
revenue from distributing their SI or code derived from it.  TOG has
stated that the X11 standards will, however, remain "open".

The TOG licensing change is incompatible with the goals of XFree86 and
most of the free software community that have been in communication with
The XFree86 Project directors over the last week.  Some have made the
point that the change would make it extremely difficult for their projects
to ship physical media which contains TOG derived product, and they've
made their preference for unencumbered X11R6.3-based source releases
overwhelmingly clear.  A fundamental part of XFree86's mission is service
to the free software community.  As a result, The XFree86 Project is
opposed to TOG's new licensing terms.

The XFree86 Project will continue its development based on the freely
available X11R6.3 SI and, where appropriate, attempt to implement future
developments to the X11 standards independently of TOG. "It is our
intention to beef up our problem tracking system and request that people
sending bug fixes or enhanced source code to TOG also send them to us,
so that the free version of X can also benefit from them," said Dirk
Hohndel, Vice President of The XFree86 Project.

The XFree86 Project remains committed to providing a freely redistributable
(in source and binary form) implementation of X11. To this end, the
copyright and licensing of XFree86 code will continue to be of the BSD
style (as used by the X11 SI up to and including X11R6.3). These terms
allow TOG and others to integrate XFree86 code into their distributions
without a license fee or other financial consideration.

Linus Torvalds, principal author of the well known Linux operating
system, said "The XFree86 Project is doing the only reasonable thing in
this context. They have my full support in keeping the idea of free
software alive for the X Window System. I hope that the public will
recognize this important task and that many people and corporations will
continue to support XFree86. I will personally work with them to help
with their goals."

Garry Paxinos, Vice President of Metro Link Incorporated said "In keeping
with the original philosophy of the X Consortium, Metro Link believes
that the sample implementation of the X Window System should remain
unencumbered.  The decision reached by the XFree86 Project to fork the
tree at R6.3 will ensure unrestricted access to the ongoing development
and enhancements to the core X technology.  Metro Link endorses this
decision, and we will continue to contribute to and support the XFree86

Theo de Raadt, leader of the OpenBSD group said "The OpenBSD group is
massively pleased to know the X11 subsystems we ship on our 8 main
platforms will continue to be available freely.  The fact that XFree86
runs on all our platforms and the TOG's X11R6 SI runs on two or so
shows that XFree86 has been doing a wonderful job of support for free
operating systems on multiple platforms."

The XFree86 Project, Inc is a non-profit corporation of the state of
Texas, USA. The primary charter is to design, implement, and distribute,
as free software, an implementation of the X Window System. The software
implements the X Window System specifications for many UNIX and UNIX-like
operating systems. All products of The XFree86 Project, Inc, are freely
available, and freely redistributable. Major supporters of XFree86
include Digital Equipment Corporation, Metro Link, Red Hat Software,
S.u.S.E. GmbH, and many others.

For more information please send electronic mail to,
or visit us on the Internet at

"UNIX" is a registered trademark of The Open Group
"X Window System" and "The Open Group" are trademarks of The Open Group
"XFree86" is a trademark of The XFree86 Project, Inc
"Metro Link" is a trademark of Metro Link Incorporated
"Linux" is a trademark of Linus Torvalds
"Red Hat" is a trademark of Red Hat Software, Inc
"S.u.S.E." is a trademark of S.u.S.E. GmbH
"Digital Equipment Corporation" is a trademark of Digital Equipment Corporation
David Dawes                                   Email:
President, The XFree86 Project, Inc           URL:
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Hubert Feyrer <>