Synaptics MIT license, again

Krzysztof Halasa khc at
Tue May 22 12:59:31 PDT 2007

Matthew Garrett <mjg59 at> writes:

> Of course - or someone could provide some sort of argument more 
> compelling than "more people might possibly work on the driver". The 
> Synaptics driver isn't terribly important, but it's likely that there 
> are going to be more (L)GPL drivers appearing over time. If that 
> situation doesn't seem desirable, then people will actually have to make 
> some sort of statement as to why.

Publishing a driver with a licence incompatible with the mainstream
code is in fact forking the main code (and GPL seems really
incompatible with, precisely because the goal of
is to give it to both open-source and closed-source users).

Sometimes forks are needed, but doing them without a good reason
only harms the community - both open-source and (perhaps, though
less likely in this case) closed-source.

The idea behind GPL is "we use some project and contribute back,
and we want others to do the same". Extending the project with
code using incompatible licence isn't exactly "contributing back",
is it? Obviously it is nothing wrong, and closed-source companies
do the same and worse. It's just nothing right.
Krzysztof Halasa

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