Wine license change

David Wheeler dwheeler at
Thu Feb 7 11:54:11 CST 2002

YES.  I think switching changing the Wine license
to the LGPL is a VERY good idea.

If the license isn't changed, Wine is going to continue
to suffer from code forks.  The current license encourages
companies to take Wine, make a proprietary fix, and keep the result
proprietary, which means that no one else gets the benefit and the
work is fragmented. This is already happening, as Steve Langasek noted:
 >One thing to bear in mind is that others already ARE forking the Wine
 >code... Other companies are forking
 >with no intention to contribute back (see; still others
 >(Transgaming) have made reintegration of their work contingent
 >on turning a[n] profit.
As Wine becomes more capable, there will be more companies who do this,
taking but never contibuting.

I agree with Dan Kegel, who said:
 >It's about time.  Putting Wine under the xGPL is the best way
 >I can think of to ensure its future.  The xGPL makes it possible
 >for competitors to cooperate for their common good -
 >which is pretty amazing. As Bob Young said ..
 >"There's been a fundamental problem of getting industry consortium
 >to work together... But we don't have a single corporate lawyer
 >in the room.  We haven't signed a single licence among any of us...
 >With the GPL, we have eliminated the need for trust."

In my opinion, the LGPL more accurately reflects how
most Wine developers _actually_ work. I think many contibutors
expect that anyone who improves Wine itself will give those
contributions back to the community, while still allowing
proprietary programs to use Wine as a library or
infrastructure.  The LGPL merely changes this expectation
into an enforceable requirement.

#include <standard_disclaimer.h>

--- David A. Wheeler
     dwheeler at

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