Wine, enthusiasts, businesses and the agony of the license

Fredrik Ohrn ohrn at
Sat Feb 9 15:12:28 CST 2002

On Sat, 9 Feb 2002, Joerg Mayer wrote:

> On Sat, Feb 09, 2002 at 11:40:54AM +0100, Fredrik Ohrn wrote:
> > Another observation is that companies in group 1 are in direct competition
> > with each other, so they want closed source. If TransGaming released their
> > DirectX work BSD style, Lindows would quickly be there to appropriate it.
> You miss one case here: Companies in group 1 that also want to make money
> with group 2s business model. They could do that easily and it would give
> them a distinct competitive advantage over the group 2 only type enterprises.
> Result: The group 2 only companies *can't* release their sources any more
> if they want to stay in business.

I assume you mean the other way round? That Corel decides to sell not only
their office suite, but also the improved Wine base now that they spent
time improving it. That would just put them into the same group as Lindows
and TransGaming regarding their license needs.

To be able to keep their secret sauce secret, the Wine source they start
working with must be licensed BSD style.

The $64.000 question is, can the license be written in such a way that
each and every company gladly accepts terms similar to the ones
TransGaming has imposed on itself?

But taking another step back step back, to get some more picture in view.
Before it's time to draft a license, all current contributors must decide
their reason for contributing. Do you want LGPL style "insurance" against
getting "ripped off", or maby you want some other kind of insurance
against some other threat? In that case, speak up so that a new license
can take you opinions into account. Maby you trust in other peoples good
intentions and that they too will keep the spirit alive and thus the
current license is good enough.

Or maby you just wrote some code for fun and don't give a damn...


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Fredrik Öhrn                               Chalmers University of Technology
ohrn at                                                  Sweden

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