Wine license change

Andreas Mohr andi at
Thu Feb 7 16:43:35 CST 2002

On Thu, Feb 07, 2002 at 04:29:47PM -0600, Steve Langasek wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 07, 2002 at 06:39:01PM +0100, Andreas Mohr wrote:
> > On Thu, Feb 07, 2002 at 09:13:15AM -0600, Steve Langasek wrote:
> > > On Thu, Feb 07, 2002 at 03:50:56PM +0100, Andreas Mohr wrote:
> > > > Seems Slashdot is fast today ;-)
> > > > They already have a thread about the proposed license change running.
> > > > One guy made an interesting suggestion:
> > > > a "dual license" scheme (like MySQL uses) where you switch to (L)GPL,
> > > > but certain companies are allowed to take code without contributing
> > > > everything and their arms and legs back...
> > > If that's the wish of the Wine community (as opposed to the wish of a 
> > > group of armchair quarterbacks on Slashdot who've never written a line of 
> > > published code), then there's no need for a license change at all.  The 
> > > present license allows one to take the Wine code and use/redistribute it 
> > > under the LGPL at any time.
> > Eh ? How so ? :)
> > This wouldn't result at all in not having a need to change the license.
> > Currently everybody can rob the hell out of us (yeah, I know, drastic
> > words :).
> > With "selective" licensing, you could make "beneficial" companies benefit.
> > Anyway, that was only some suggestion of some /. guy, not sure whether
> > it's a good idea.
> Ok, I was assuming a dual license of the current license plus the LGPL, 
> which is equivalent to the current license because the permissions it 
> grants are a superset of those in the LGPL.
> If you're talking about selective licensing, the problem you run into is 
> getting approval from all of the copyright holders involved.  There are 
> 324 entries in the Wine AUTHORS file that I have on my system, and chances 
> are that more than one of them would have to give approval for a new 
> license for any given file within Wine.  If people see a need to be able 
> to license code under a license other than the LGPL, I see this as a 
> strong reason to consider not switching to the LGPL at all, because of how 
> difficult it would make relicensing.
Oh right, I didn't think of this particular communications problem in this

Another drawback of a license change might be that reverting from
(L)GPL license to previous licenses is said to be very hard.

As nobody else didn't bring it up, I'd like to suggest that proponents
of a license change create a web site scientifically discussing all pros
and cons of a license change in a well-written form that can serve as a basis
for a final decision on this topic.
(instead of risking to have major flaming about pretty much irrelevant
points on this list, that is ;-)

Right now it looks like the license change intention might face a grim future
(whether that's good or bad - no idea), thus it'd probably be useful to have
a detailed reference page on this very important problem.

Andreas Mohr                        Stauferstr. 6, D-71272 Renningen, Germany
Tel. +49 7159 800604      

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