Synaptics MIT license approved

Matthew Garrett mjg59 at
Wed May 16 13:38:58 PDT 2007

I'm sorry for not having noticed this earlier, but I think there's some 
fairly serious issues here. From the email you sent:

"the synaptics driver was developed under the GPLv2 license[2] while the sources are licensed unter MIT/X11[3]. These licenses are so
called "incompatible". That means you cannot ship sources along
with the synaptics sources."

This is simply untrue - there's no incompatibility between MIT/X11 and 
GPL, and it would be perfectly permissable to ship the sources 
along with the synaptics sources. It's a policy decision on the part of 
the developers not to include GPLed source, but there's no 
legal reason why they couldn't.

"currently the driver cannot be run with the latest release and 
not even the former release"

That's kind of odd, since I'm running it against both 1.2 and 1.3 right 

Put simply, the email you sent requesting permission for the license 
change contains factual inaccuracies. If people have decided to grant 
permission for the license change based on this, I think they could 
quite legitimately claim to have been misled. I'd recommend contacting 
everyone again with an apology for the previous request, an explanation 
of what the state of affairs actually is and then ask for permission to 
change the license again.

On the other hand, I'm still not clear why this is an issue. There's no 
problem hosting non-MIT/X11 code on, so it could be kept 
with the source even without changing the license. I also don't 
see an especially strong argument for why incorporating it into the 
xserver source code would result in any significantly greater level of 
development. What goal are you actually trying to achieve, and why do 
you think relicensing would achieve it?

Matthew Garrett | mjg59 at

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