Wine license change
vorlon at dodds.net
Thu Feb 7 10:32:49 CST 2002
On Thu, Feb 07, 2002 at 09:41:53AM -0600, Sean Farley wrote:
> Does it matter if they have written code for Wine or not?
Yes. If they have not contributed, nor will contribute, code to Wine
under the current license, then their opinions on the license have no
impact on whether they will contribute to Wine in the future, and they
should be ignored when examining the question of whether the LGPL is an ok
license to use.
> I test out and attempt to debug bugs in Wine when they show up on
> FreeBSD. Let's just say that I have not been all that successful. :)
Then you're not among the aforementioned Slashdot armchair quarterbacks.
But then, I wouldn't expect anyone participating in the discussion /here/
instead of on Slashdot to be so. :)
> If not, let me say that I see no reason to change the current license.
> The LGPL may push proprietary code from the Wine core, but it will just
> push it into DLL's.
The DLL model is already set by the Microsoft APIs. A company can't get
around the LGPL this way and still have a useful product, even if the LGPL
allowed it (which it doesn't). If the existing Wine DLLs are released
under the LGPL, then modifications to those DLLs must be released under
the LGPL as well.
> Remember that not everyone will contribute back. Why should you expect
> them to assuming you are not a Moonie? Maybe they have nothing to
> contribute back. Maybe they don't want to contribute back. Forcing
> them into sharing is not sharing.
Under the LGPL, everyone /will/ contribute back, because that's what the
LGPL requires. Under the LGPL, it's not for them (or for you) to decide
whether they have anything to contribute back; if they make modifications,
they must be shared openly. And you're right that some people don't want
to contribute back. That's precisely WHY we would consider relicensing
under the LGPL. If everyone shared of their own free will, why would we
need a license that said they had to share? The question at hand is
whether or not we want to allow others to benefit from Wine without
sharing their changes.
I make no bones about the fact that I'm a staunch believer in copyleft.
If Free Software has value, then there's also value in keeping it Free.
I'm not here to do free programming on behalf of companies that don't
believe in Free Software and in the Community. It is the right of the
copyright holder to choose the license, and although I usually disagree
with the choice of a BSD license, I have no problem with people who choose
such a license. I just think copyleft is better. :)
> As for commercial interest, I see that Apache+modssl has done quite well
> against any closed-source versions.
I would argue that this is a different ballgame. In the web serving
field, There's More Than One Way To Do It, and trying to avoid forks leads
to infrastructure issues as you need more and more management to make
decisions and guide the project. In Wine, most of the decisions have
already been made by Microsoft for us, it's simply a question of
implementation; and most of that implementation is parallelizable to a
high degree. Having a license that allows commercial offshoots of a
webserver lets companies come up with innovative new designs that
wouldn't have been incorporated into the main tree. Having a license that
allows commercial offshoots of Wine potentially leads to a bunch of
different Windows emulators, each of which is 98% complete and none of
which works with half the software people want it to.
I'm sure that under a BSD-style license, Wine could continue to outcompete
any commercial offshoots. The question is, which license model gives us
the best chance of competing with *Microsoft*, who already has the lead?
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