[License-discuss] [Fedora-legal-list] Re: The license of OpenMotif (Open Group Public License)

Florian Weimer fw at deneb.enyo.de
Wed Mar 20 00:06:42 UTC 2019

* Bruce Perens:

> Hi Florian,
> Thank you for reinforcing the difference between commercial and
> proprietary, I was being lazy.

Red Hat has pretty much always shipped OpenMotif in Red Hat Enterprise
Linux, by the way.

I don't (and wouldn't) know of any separate contractual requirements
in this context.  The openmotif packages were in “main”, so to speak,
they did not live in the Supplementary channels, where the proprietary
stuff still lingers (various JDKs and Adobe Flash).

> To this day it is difficult to actually install a pure Open Source Linux on
> a laptop, due to the need for proprietary firmware and some driver issues -
> especially concerning 3D graphics. So, you can have marginally proprietary
> distributions which are free to duplicate without charge and contain mostly
> Open Source.

I'm not sure if people were so nuanced in the distinction back then.
The graphics space had rather firm firmware back then anyway.  The
ROMs started to disappear a bit later.

> And I didn't actually want to dig up that old license and read it again.
> So, I'll leave it at this.

Sure.  I believe the intent at the time was not to cannibalize revenue
from their proprietary UNIX licensing business (so that the Motif
maintainer had access to funding its operations).  So the point was
pretty clear: you weren't supposed to compile the sources on anything
but GNU/Linux.

That may have been a serious restriction at the time and quite
punishing on a certain class of free software users (who did not
actually use an open-source operating system by any stretch of

My original point was that a restriction preventing (effectively)
ports to proprietary operating systems probably wouldn't be considered
problematic today.  And why should it be?

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