Synaptics MIT license, again

Matthew Garrett mjg59 at
Mon May 21 19:34:15 PDT 2007

On Mon, May 21, 2007 at 11:23:04AM -0500, Jeremy C. Reed wrote:
> On Mon, 21 May 2007, Matthew Garrett wrote:
> > For what it's worth, I'm not willing to have any of the code I wrote for 
> > Synaptics changed to a license that allows the production of proprietary 
> > derivative works. I don't see any advantage to it - with modularisation, 
> > it makes no difference whether a driver is part of the core tree or not. 
> I think part of the advantage is future maintenance.

Realistically speaking, how many potential contributors to the Synaptics 
driver have been put off by its license? Looking at its patch history, 
it seems healthier than many parts of the core X distribution. There's a 
decent number of contributors, patches are merged in a timely manner and 
it seems to keep up to date with X functionality - for all practical 
purposes, it's a model driver.

> By the way, I find it hard to understand a disagreement to the's 
> chosen license by those who do X11-related coding work or even use any 
> product of the software with these MIT-style licenses.

I'll admit to having a preference for copyleft-style licenses over 
BSD-style ones, but if I contribute to a project I'll happily conform to 
its existing license. That doesn't mean that I'll agree to a change on 
the license of the code that I've contributed.

Matthew Garrett | mjg59 at

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