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22 September 2008, 12:11

SGI reworks OpenGL licence to make it free software

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SGI has announced that it has reworked the licence on its OpenGL code. The code has been available since 1999 under a pair of licences regarded as non-free by both the FSF and the OSI. The new licence, SGI Free Software Licence B 2.0, is notable for its brevity and similarity to the X/MIT licence under which the X Window System is made available.

The Free Software Foundation's (FSF) executive director, Peter Brown said "We couldn't be happier with this decision". The FSF's gNewSense Linux has been omitting OpenGL based code from its distribution in their attempt to have a completely free Linux distribution. The change in licensing by SGI has removed all outstanding issues with the OpenGL code base, and it is expected that the reappearance of SGI OpenGL code in free distributions will resume soon. reported that the problem with the old licence dated back to 2003 and a bug report for Debian Linux, but that the process to get SGI to move to a free licence only really started when an OpenBSD user reported the problem to the FSF at the start of this year.


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