Wine license change

Douglas Ridgway ridgway at
Thu Feb 7 13:04:10 CST 2002

A few brief comments:

  * LGPL may well be legal gibberish. Be sure to consult non-FSF lawyers
as well as talking to the FSF. This is problematic because a gibberish
license will discourage use. I know that I would be cautious linking
source with a value of 100M against something LGPL, if I was worried about
the risk that a judge might decide that by so doing I'd created a derived
work, and thus had gnuified my entire source.

  * Creating an LGPL tree will inevitably create public forks, not prevent
them. There are many private forks already. These are necessary, because
every corporate entity modifying Wine needs to have control over their own
destiny. So far, there has been only one public Wine tree, precisely
because everyone could do whatever they wanted with it. Creating an
encumbered tree would end this state of affairs. Keeping track of the Wine
source entirely unencumbered by the Gnu virus is too important to imagine
that no one would do it. Whether this is good or bad depends on your point
of view on forks.

  * I don't understand the impetus for change. Is it because some
companies are (finally, after many years of encouragement) starting to
make use of their right to keep some of their work proprietary? What,
exactly, is wrong with proprietary versions anyway? Didn't this all get
hashed out years ago when the license was picked in the first place?
Allowing proprietary enhacements is the single most important aspect to
encouraging use of Wine technology. That's true even if the enhancements
are entirely nontechnical, e.g. purely sales and marketing. I encourage
anyone who thinks marketing an OS is easy to start selling their own
version of Wine under any license and at any price point they choose.
Competition is good.

Needless to say, assuming that anyone would listen to me anymore, I would
oppose the creation of an LGPL fork.

ridgway at

More information about the wine-devel mailing list