Wine license change: it's about time!

Patrik Stridvall ps at
Thu Feb 7 17:39:43 CST 2002

> Patrik Stridvall wrote:
> > > Bottom line is clear: as the project matures and becomes more
> > > useful, the deterant of contributing code back from a business
> > > perspective is going to greatly increase, while at the same 
> > > time, the incentive under the LGPL would have also increased.
> > 
> > This is a just claim without any sort of proof.
> It seems like a reasonable analysis to me; contributing code
> represents a bigger and bigger gift as Wine comes closer to 
> completion,
> as your competitors will be able to produce useful products with 
> less and less work.  

The only likely head to head competitors that I can see are
two companies that uses Wine to port their competing applications.

As Wine nears completion, the competive advantage fixing Wine
at all instead of working around the difference in their
respective application becomes quite low so I don't think
we will see that many patches from either. LGPL or no LGPL.

> Under the LGPL, this is ok, because you'll have
> access to the competitor's code as soon as he starts shipping ig.
> Under the X license, you're in trouble, and have to hustle to 
> reproduce
> the work the competitor did.

In the longer perspective neither company will live or die because
the better quality of the Wine port, but rather because of the
better quality of their application. So even the company that
is nice to Wine is not likely to suffer serious competive
disadvantages anyway.

In fact it might even make sense to them to make a deal that
they should treat Wine as it was LGPL despite being competitors.
But this is their choice and we shouldn't force it on them.

> > For head to head competitors
> > it has some (but only some) relevance. However this is not 
> the kind of
> > business models we are likely to see IMHO.
> Really?  Sun doesn't compete head to head with IBM?  

I some markets, yes. In the Wine market neither of then competes
so your example is largerly irrelevant.

Anyway, if both would enter the Wine market I would be very suprised
if they really competed head to head. I would rather think they
did it in some niche of their own.
> > > In economic terms, for Wine, one spells death, the other, life.
> > 
> > Another grandiose claim without any substance. The world is not that
> > simple. Both approaches has their pros and cons but neither is life
> > not death.
> It captures the essense of how the two licenses set up incentives,
> though.

In a simplified enconomic theory: Perhaps.
In the real world: Difficult to tell, but I believe not.
> I think Patrik and I agree that it's important for the Wine license 
> to provide economic incentives for companies to contribute to the
> Wine project.  


> His legal analysis of the LGPL differs so sharply
> from mine (or that of most people), as far as I can tell, that
> just about nobody agrees with his point of view on it.

Perhaps it is because I'm bad on explaining what I mean.
Anyway, I would rather be alone and right than not alone and wrong. :-)

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