Synaptics MIT license approved

Florian Loitsch florian.loitsch at
Thu May 17 07:44:39 PDT 2007

As one of the synaptics developers (my patches got accepted today :) I would 
suggest the following: ask the developers again without too much 
explanations. A simple:
Sorry to contact you again. All contributors have agreed to the license 
change, but my/our mail asking you for the license change might have been 
misleading. For a detailled discussion see URL-to-discussion.
We (xorg-developers) still would like to have the synaptics driver under the 
same license as the xorg-server and if you are still willing to switch the 
license, please confirm once again.
If you have questions on the licenses do not hesitate to contact me/us (on the 
// florian

On Wednesday 16 May 2007 23:40:05 Christoph Brill wrote:
> Am Mittwoch, den 16.05.2007, 14:17 -0700 schrieb Alan Coopersmith:
> > Christoph Brill wrote:
> > > I also have been told that MIT/X11 license is incompatible with GPLv2.
> > > If that is not the fact, why was I told that this driver can never be
> > > shipped with the sources?
> >
> > GPL adds restrictions to distributors that X.Org has traditionally wanted
> > to avoid, such as the requirement that source be provided for all parts,
> > which would lead to the same endless arguments over the ATI & nVidia
> > closed drivers that infest the various Linux forums.
> >
> > GPL software can include MIT/X11 code, just as it can BSD code, but for
> > MIT/X11 code to include GPL code, it needs to accept the additional terms
> > of the GPL that go beyond the MIT/X11 terms.
> Ok, if I understand that all correctly I will send a mail to the
> developers. This might lead to this mail which will NEED to be reviewed
> before I send it out.
> "Hello developer/contributor,
> we asked you earlier on changing the license of the synaptics X11 driver
> from GPLv2 to MIT/X11. All developers/contributors agreed on changing the
> license.
> The reason stated in the original approach was that we thought that "GPLv2
> was incompatible with MIT/X11". We've been told that this is not true.
> Sorry about that. simply does not accept the GPLv2 license since they
> would need to be able to ship all the driver sources. As you know this is
> impossible for binary-only proprietary modules.
> We also stated that the driver does not run with the latest release.
> This is not true either. The last release of the driver does not work with
> the last release, but the unreleased development version of the
> driver does.
> If don't want to change the license from GPLv2 to X11/MIT based on these
> new facts, please inform me.
> We still need to change the license to MIT/X11 to couple it more tightly to
> It will defintely help the driver be to located at the same location
> as the rest of the sources.
> Sorry for the inconvenience,
>   Christoph Brill"
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