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Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.announce
Subject: An Official XFree86 Position Statement
Date: 6 May 1993 00:01:43 +0300
Approved: (Lars Wirzenius)
Message-ID: <1s99vnINNt71@hydra.Helsinki.FI>

[ Moderator's note: Please honor the followup-to and only post replies
  to, as that is the relevant group, not
  comp.os.linux --liw ]

		  XFree86 Position Statement on
		Commercial Involvement in XFree86

	Whenever the issue of commercial use of or involvement with a
FreeWare project comes up, it is an area of contention.  We, the XFree86
Core Team, have decided to make this public statement on our position on
two major issues that have been brought to us several times in recent

	1) Commercial use of XFree86 software
	2) Commercial involvement in the development of XFree86

Commercial Use of XFree86 Software
	XFree86 is, and always has been, FreeWare.  By that term, we mean
"Freely Redistributable Copyrighted Software".  All of XFree86 bears the
copyright notice from the MIT X11R5 public release, with the author(s) of
each module being named in the copyright on that module.
	We place no restriction on the use of XFree86 released software
for any purpose, commercial or otherwise, except that the copyright must
remain intact.  In other words, no one else can claim that they wrote our
code.  We ask nothing in return, except that we be given credit for our
work (e.g. in product literature).
	This has been the policy of XFree86 since its inception; the original
organizational mail to the beta testing group stated this explicitly.  Any
individual developing code for XFree86 must agree to these conditions - we
will put no more restrictions on XFree86 code than those stated here.
	This position does NOT apply to alpha/beta (i.e. pre-release) XFree86
code.  Such code is not to be released outside the XFree86 beta-testing team
without permission of the Core Team.  This of course does not apply to the
original author(s); they are free to do as they wish with their own code.
But only released code is subject to the freely-redistributable clause.

Commercial Involvement in XFree86 Development
	Until now, we have maintained a strict policy of not allowing
commercial X developers to be involved in the XFree86 development/beta-test
process.  It was felt that this would compromise the FreeWare nature of
the software.
	The XFree86 Core Team, and some of the other developers, have over
the past year, developed a good technical rapport with several commercial
X development organizations, including SGCS, MetroLink, NCR, USL, and SCO.
A good dialogue has evolved, and in fact, NCR has contributed code back to
	Recently we have had requests to allow commercial X organizations
to be involved in development and testing.  After much soul-searching, we
have decided to change our policy and allow this to occur.
	We will place the following restrictions on any commercial
involvement in XFree86 development:

	1) Any code contributed to XFree86 must be no more encumbered
	   than the rest of XFree86 (i.e. the MIT copyright notice,
	   naming the appropriate author(s)).
	2) No unreleased XFree86 code (alpha/beta-test) may be released
	   in a product, except for code developed by that organization.
	3) The XFree86 Core and Beta teams will not make any changes
	   to meet the specific needs of any given vendor; if product-
	   specific changes are required, the vendor can either make
	   them independently of XFree86, or they can generalize it
	   and contribute it to XFree86.
	4) When any commercial X developer joins the XFree86 development
	   team, this information will be disseminated to the rest of
	   the development team.  In addition, such information will
	   be released to any inquiring part, upon request to the 
	   XFree86 contact address.
	5) There will be no membership in the XFree86 Core Team by
	   a commercial X developer.  XFree86 is, and always will be,
	   a FreeWare project.  Those who decide the direction of the
	   project should stand to gain no monetary profit from any
	   decisions made.

	We feel that these restrictions put everyone on an even footing;
XFree86 development policies will apply equally to everyone.  This offer
is open to all commercial developers.  There are no favorites being played
here.  Commercial developers who wish to join the team should send mail
to <>, and are asked to identify themselves as
commercial developers and indicate that they have read and accept these

	People may wonder why we are taking these positions.  We feel that
commercial use of XFree86 can only enhance the reputation of the project,
and can get it into the hands of people who could not otherwise get it.
The question continually comes up "Doesn't it bother you that others profit
from your work?"  The answer is an unqualified "No, it does not bother us."
Commercial use of our work only broadens the user base, it does not take
the product away from us or our users.  We had no intention for this to
be a money-making endeavor; it is fun, educational, and useful to many
people.  The only payment we get is prestige and reputation, and we desire
nothing more.
	People may wonder why we would let commercial developers get
involved in XFree86 development.  We have been working on an informal
level with many of our commercial peers on a variety of technical issues
for quite a while now.  We have no reason to distrust them - just the
opposite.  Because of what we have already done together, we are inclined
to trust them.  XFree86 stands to gain a great deal from this: an additional
group of experienced developers; helping to support our work to the X
Consortium, which we cannot afford to join; and a tacit "validation"
of our work, outside the Internet arena, where FreeWare may not have
the reputation it does on the net.  We feel that any commercial organization
that would willingly contribute source code to a FreeWare project, knowing
full well that this code may be used by competitors, deserves the same
rights of participation as any non-commercial developers.

	We are certain that there are purists who will disagree with what
we are doing.  We do not apologize for what we do - we know it is not
for everyone.  Anyone who wishes to discuss this can do so in the newsgroup, or can send mail to our contact
address at <>.

David Wexelblat <>  (908) 957-5871  Fax: (908) 957-5627
AT&T Bell Laboratories, 200 Laurel Ave - 3F-428, Middletown, NJ  07748

XFree86 requests should be addressed to <>

"How many times must good men die?  How many tears will the children cry,
 'til we suffer no more sadness?  Oh, stop the madness.  Stop all the madness."
        -- Molly Hatchet, Fall Of The Peacemakers.

Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.announce
Subject: Stop sending me your questions!
Message-ID: <1993May27.180208.23567@klaava.Helsinki.FI>
Date: Thu, 27 May 1993 18:02:08 GMT
Approved: (Lars Wirzenius)

Folks, there's a reason the line:

	XFree86 requests should be addressed to <>

appears in my .signature.  I do not run Linux; most of the time I can't
answer the Linux-specific questions that people send me.  The XFree86
contact address exists for a reason.  So does the

The only reason I read comp.os.linux at all because of the astounding
volume of mis-information that circulates here about XFree86.  This stuff
doesn't even belong in this newsgroup.

And BTW - the name of the software is XFree86.  Not Xfree, XFree, Xfree86.
In particular, don't leave off the '86'.  I get questions from people who
think 'XFree' runs on Suns.  Please don't perpetuate this myth.

David Wexelblat <>  (908) 957-5871  Fax: (908) 957-5627
AT&T Bell Laboratories, 200 Laurel Ave - 3F-428, Middletown, NJ  07748

XFree86 requests should be addressed to <>

"How many times must good men die?  How many tears will the children cry,
 'til we suffer no more sadness?  Oh, stop the madness.  Stop all the madness."
        -- Molly Hatchet, Fall Of The Peacemakers.

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