Dr. Seuss, licensing, and WINE

Brett Glass brett at lariat.org
Fri Feb 8 14:03:18 CST 2002

At 12:28 PM 2/8/2002, John Alvord wrote:

>Seems to me that contributers should have most of the say....

I'm not only a user but a potential contributor, as I 
frequently fix bugs in the open source code I use and
maintain for others. I also recommend products to end 
users and install them on end users' systems. I will 
not be able to contribute to, fix bugs in, or recommend 
WINE if it is under an FSF license. The impact of a
license change will reach far beyond the contributors.

I have been very thankful for WINE, because it has in some 
cases allowed me to escape the grip of the megalomaniacal 
Microsoft. But if WINE is (L)GPLed, all users, contributors,
and software vendors who might like to promote it will be 
in the grip of the equally megalomaniacal FSF. A fork is
the only thing that can prevent this, and again, I would
strongly encourage one if it appears that the FSF is about
to commandeer the project by persuading a subset of the
contributors to impose its license upon everyone else.

Another thing that worries greatly is Jeremy's message
stating that he has been consulting with Eben Moglen, of 
the FSF, about licensing. Asking the FSF's advice 
about licensing is akin to asking the IRS to prepare one's 
taxes: It will act in its own interest, not yours. The FSF's 
sole goal is to destroy commercial software developers, and 
so it will naturally do anything it can to accomplish this
aim, even if the results are also devastating to the
WINE project. It does not appear that CodeWeavers has
consulted with anyone who does consulting and writes code
under truly free license. I've already recommended, in a
previous message, that they consult Perry Metzger of
Wasabi Systems, who can demonstrate to them that a
truly free license is greatly beneficial. (The fact that
NetBSD is truly free is, in fact, one of Wasabi's strongest
selling points for its software and services.)

It is also of great concern that CodeWeavers has stated
that it will begin to add code to the source tree under
LGPL. By thus "contaminating" the tree, it will force its
decision upon the other developers. The company's code
should not be committed if it does not contribute it
under the MIT/WINE license.

--Brett Glass

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