OpenGL is free free free software

Brett Smith brett at
Tue Sep 23 07:48:46 PDT 2008


I was involved with the negotiations with SGI to have them change
their license, and I've been tracking this situation closely to make
sure that all the code involved gets released as free software.  I
think we're very close, but there might be a couple of loose ends to
tie up.

On Mon, Sep 22, 2008 at 11:48:39AM -0400, Adam Jackson wrote:
> My reading of the press release is that GLXPL-covered code is now
> licensed under FreeB 2.0.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure it's quite that simple.  It is true that
SGI has taken code that it previously released under the GLXPL and
since re-released it under the SGI Free License B.  However, if other
people have contributed to those files in the intervening time, I
don't think we can assume that their contributions have been
relicensed too.

I was looking through the version control history for these files in
both XFree86 and xorg, and I saw a number of people making changes,
although it was hard for me to tell who was committing their own
changes, and who was committing changes written by other people.

>From a licensing perspective, we feel it would be ideal if someone
could get in touch with the people who wrote changes to those files,
and get their permission to relicense it under the new SGI Free
License B or something compatible.  The FSF would be ready and eager
to help with that sort of effort in any way within our power that you
all would like; we spent nine months negotiating with SGI to fix the
original license, and we want to see to it that all the remaining
loose ends get tied up too.

I admittedly don't know all the details involved here; like I said, I
haven't figured out exactly who made changes, I don't know who's
holding the copyrights, and so on.  So please let me know if any of
those details have an impact on the situation, or if you have any
questions about where I'm coming from on this.

Best regards,

Brett Smith
Licensing Compliance Engineer, Free Software Foundation

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