Wine license change

Roger Fujii rmf at
Thu Feb 7 16:45:36 CST 2002

Steve Langasek <vorlon at> wrote:
> Under the LGPL, everyone /will/ contribute back, because that's what the 
> LGPL requires.

If you are using marketing speak for "contribute".  GPL requires 1)
for you to show your work  2) You effectively license your software to
the FSF.  It doesn't say it has to be in any useful form to be worked
back into the originating project (if any). 

> 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.

Here we go again....  If this is *all* it did, LGPL is far less objectionable.
The problem with *GPL is that it also regulates the UNMODIFIED use of the

> 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. 

Freedom means allowing people to do things, even things that you don't
agree with.  BSD = Free.  GPL is not.  Call a spade a spade....

> > 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,

there shouldn't be... http and ssl are 'well' defined protocols.  

> and trying to avoid forks leads to infrastructure issues as you need more
> and more management to make decisions and guide the project.

this is a project SIZE issue and has very little to do with the license.

> 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.

and what gives you this impression about wine?  Seems that many of the
subsystems are interconnected (look at the recent thread on dll mapping).
Can't imagine that DX support wouldn't impact anything else.   

> 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.

If it works 100% with the 1-3 pieces of software a user needs it for, the
user certainly wouldn't care.  The question is whether the alternative
would be better or not.....
> 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?

If this is the goal (it certainly is mine), then *GPL is not a good choice,
because it would interfere with deployment (*GPL wouldn't allow being bundled
with the playstation2 or other HW platforms as an example).  If acceptance
is the goal and you care about wine in a non-linux context, stay with
BSD/X11.  If you don't care about expanding the pie, go *GPL....



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