Wine license change

Roger Fujii rmf at
Fri Feb 8 05:10:50 CST 2002

Steve Langasek <vorlon at> wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 07, 2002 at 05:45:36PM -0500, Roger Fujii wrote:
> > 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). 
> We're talking about the LGPL, not the GPL. 

true with either.  Your "contributions" must be licensed as LGPL/GPL.  

> The rest of this paragraph shows a serious disconnect with the text of
> the LGPL.  Have you actually read the license in question?

I have no clue what you are talking about.  I didn't say anything until
the "Here we go again".  And Yes, I have read the *GPL, many, many, many

>     "Source code" for a work means the preferred form of the work for
>   making modifications to it.  For a library, complete source code means
>   all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any associated
>   interface definition files, plus the scripts used to control
>   compilation and installation of the library.

If you are contesting the "useful form", let's say I did this:  Took
the original GPLed code and run it through a lexical translator so that
all labels and such are changed.  Make my changes with respect to THIS
codebase.  Now publish this.  This AFAIK, fulfills the technical requirement
of the *GPL, but it certainly isn't a usable form.   
> > 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
> > software.  
> The creation of derived works does not constitute "unmodified use of the
> software" under any legal definition I've ever seen, if that's what you're
> referring to.

no, it's this phase:

  Thus, it is not the intent of this section to claim rights or contest your rights to
  work written entirely by you; rather, the intent is to exercise the right to control 
  the distribution of derivative or collective works based on the Program.

> > 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....
> Nonsense.  To extend your definition to the proper conclusion, it's not
> Free unless it's placed in the public domain,

you are ABSOLUTELY right.  The spectrum is PD->BSD->GPL-------->Propriatary.
But then, things in the PD really isn't licensed, so X11/BSD is probably
as close as one can get.

> and any software license that permits you to maintain any portion of your
> copyright is a fraud if it claims to be Free.  If you really cared about 
> giving absolute freedom to the users of code that you write, you would
> place all of your code in the public domain.

we can quibble about what "free" means, but saying GPL is "more free" than
X11/BSD doesn't make any sense.  Given the current license is X11/BSD and
the argument is for changing it to LGPL, I can't see how one can use the
"freedom" argument in this case.
> Not planning to do that any time soon?

stuff that I have put back into projects go with the license that it's under. 
All of the changes I've put back goes back with *no* restriction (ie. it's PD
as far as I'm concerned).  

> Then spare us the bullshit arguments about the BSD being Free and the GPL not.
> (Yes, it is bullshit. Call a spade a spade, right?)

geez. no need to get bent out of shape.  I'll rephrase and say BSD is MORE free than
GPL.  Happy?

> All Free Software licenses attempt to find an equitable balance between the 
> freedoms and rights of the authors, and the freedoms and rights of the users.

this statement is true of licenses in general, with the freedoms/rights of the user
declining along that freedom spectrum.  In the US (forgetting the DCMA for
the time being), the freedoms and rights of the authors are guarenteed by law
(1st amendment/copyright).   What I philosophically object to is using
the freedom argument WRT GPL, since the freedom of the author is never in question,
while the freedom of the user is curtailed.  I have no problems in saying it's equitable, 
fair, desirable <insert socially desirable adjective here>, even "right" -
just not 'free'.

> You are free to favor one balance point over the others, but that doesn't make
> other licenses and other balance points non-free.

my dictionary says one of the definitions of freedom means "unrestricted use".  So
it's fair to say something that has MORE restrictions is LESS free, or are you
arguing that GPL is more "free" than PD?
> But neither philosophy nor politics is the issue at hand.  The issue at
> hand is whether the LGPL, or a similar license, would be better or worse
> for growing the Wine community.  For that, there are good arguments on
> both sides.

we agree.

> On the other side, companies like don't impress me as bringing
> any added value back to the community -- they may succeed in increasing
> the percentage of non-Windows desktops in the world, but the current Wine
> license makes it possible for all the profits from their OS to pad the
> wallets of marketroids, sales critters and smooth-talking business execs,
> without contributing anything back to the Wine tree.  I have no problem at
> all with the idea of eliminating that particular business model.

The problem with that particular argument is that it makes the fundamental
assumption that all people who don't contribute back NOW is evil foreever.  
You just don't know what will happen in the future.  Maybe Sun/IBM buys out in 6 months when they are broke, and opens the source.  Or,
maybe in a year, they have a change of heart (has happened before with other
companies).  The point is that it's arguably better to have more players.
> > 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....
> Please write what you mean, which seems to be "Sony would never accept the
> terms of the LGPL, which would prevent them from being able to bundle Wine
> with the PlayStation2".  Again, I don't see where this would be a loss.
> Companies that are unwilling to contribute back to the community are not
> any concern of mine; if they want to compete with Microsoft on the
> desktop, let them fund their own software development instead of leeching
> off of the community.  My only concern with the LGPL is making sure that
> well-intentioned companies that DO give back to the community aren't
> caught in the middle.

Let's say the playstation distributed wine for every PS2 that shipped.  If
only .001% of its users (and these are gamers) get interested in wine, that's
200 additional contributers.  Most people get involved with a project because
they USE it initially.  So, it's reasonable to say that wine is still
better off if sony distributed it without contributing *anything* (maybe had had
to make NO changes, who knows) because of the additional interest.  You might
not consider this a loss, but to me, it seems like it is. 


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