Dr. Seuss, licensing, and WINE

Patrik Stridvall ps at leissner.se
Sat Feb 9 03:29:29 CST 2002

> If people don't understand that some people are decent and 
> contribute back 
> regardless of whether they are forced to or not, but others 
> are not and 
> require a feedback loop to force this behavior, then they 
> don't understand 
> how the world works and we're just wasting time.

That is not one of the problem, as far as I'm concerned
I fully agree that there will be companies that will be,
how should I put it, less honourable. There ALWAYS are in
ALL markets.

As I sidenote I would like to say that I believe that
the LGPL for reasons stated in last debate will not be enough
to stop less honourable companies from doing less honourable

You might believe me or you might not, as all people arguing against
me last time. Be that as it may, that discussing is dead and I
will in the future concentrate on "If the LGPL means what you
say it does, we don't want the LGPL".
> I think it's more of an issue of people thinking too much in 
> black/white 
> terms and people that lean strong towards one side or the other.

Yes. Perhaps they are not nessarily thinking in black and white
but their arguments are often presented that way.

I'm not entirely blameless on that point either, I will try
to do better in the future.
> Look no further than the US political system for a good 
> example.  You have 
> the Republicans and the Democrats.  Generally they take every 
> issue to 
> opposite ends of the extreme such that 99% of congress is at 
> one extreme 
> or the other, but 99% of the population wants neither extreme.

Exactly, but that is because:
1. They want votes so they can do that they feel is right.
2. The ignorant masses are not likely to understand subtle
   differences in opionion.

When the voters give any of them support, the problem is that
they didn't really support the extreme views they presented,
but they are forced to do it anyway in order of not being
accussed of betraying the will of the voter.

In the cases of Wine. I hope that the people working with the
Wine project are not among the ignorant masses and thus really
are able to understand the subtle differences between different

> Essentially we could go on forver about X11/BSD vs. GPL.  It's been 
> discussed to death already folks.  What we need are reasonable 
> compromises.  Of course you need to have people willing to 
> compromise to 
> do that.  I suspect most developers are with the exception of 
> the view 
> vocal BSD people and the few vocal LGPL all the way people.  
> I myself am 
> certainly not at either extreme.

Even if perhaps some people won't believe me. I not really
an extremist. I try to take a pragmatic view of the world.

I believe that GPL has its place, LGPL has it place and the BSD
license has its place.

However my analysis of the issues at hand makes me believe that
LGPL would be really bad in the particular case of Wine, for
reasons that I have tried to explain.

I suggest that people try to think about scenarios of circumstances
where possible extensions to Wine might be made. This might be
business models like Transgaming or Lindows.com or just something
Joe Hacker or Joe Ex-Windows-Shareware-Writer or Joe I'm-Conspiring
-With-A-Proprietary-Library-Company-But-You-Can't-Prove-It are doing.
Just like the examples in the my last mail.

Then ask the questions:
1. Do you consider his or her behavior morally or ethically defendable?
2. Does it violate the letter of the LGPL?
3. Does it violate the spirit of the LGPL?
4. Does it violate the letter of copyright law?
5. Does it violate the spirit of copyright law? 
6. Do you think any reasonable Judge/Jury would find him or her guilty?

With the spirit of copyright law I roughly mean:
Is it what congress intended and/or is it constitutional?
Notice the and/or:
It is possible for act of congress to be constitutional without
being the intention of the congress.

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