Synaptics MIT license, again

Carlos Corbacho cathectic at
Tue May 22 01:02:06 PDT 2007

Matthew Garrett wrote:

> 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.

So basically we have three choices then:

1) X.Org accepts GPL for drivers (or makes an exception for Synaptics)

Who decides this? Because so far the arguments just seem to be going
backwards and forwards over the merits of linking, ethics, etc, which is
really getting us nowhere.

If this is want we want to do, who would decide on that? Is there a person
or people in particular who decide (e.g. the X.Org board?), or does this
just require a consensus from developers (do we need all in favour from
X.Org developers, or just a majority, etc?)

(Playing advocate here:

A) The linking issue is now apparently bogus with modular X.
B) Given this is a driver for a laptop touchpad, I don't exactly expect
there to be much clamour to have this "extended" by proprietary X's - which
generally would come with *NIX's not designed to run on laptops anyway, so
this should be irrelevant for them.)

2) Relicense Synaptics under MIT/X11 license

If not (1), then as proposed already, contact all the developers again,
spelling out that this is the only way for Synaptics to be included and
distributed with an official X.Org release.

(I never quite thought I'd end up arguing to relicense from GPL to MIT/X11 -
it's a funny old world...)

3) Maintain the Status Quo

The "do nothing" approach. Which I'd rather not see - I'd like to see the
issue resolved one way or another[1].


[1] I suppose I should make my intentions clear here - I am _not_ an X.Org
developer (be that X.Org or any of the drivers, etc), I'm just one of those
mere "users". So I have no particular stake in this, other than I'm
interested in seeing wider adoption of Synaptics, outside of the few
distributions that ship it, or the users who bother to hunt it down
(because I think it really is a useful driver).

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