Wine license change

David Elliott dfe at
Sat Feb 9 17:06:44 CST 2002

On 2002.02.09 15:55 Brett Glass wrote:
> At 08:11 AM 2/9/2002, J.Brown (Ender/Amigo) wrote:
> >John Carmack made an intresting point, he releases ID softwares older
> >releases under the GPL. Why? Because after originally releasing an
> engine
> >after a BSD-esque license, a project done some very major work to the
> >engine...  and then lost it in a harddrive crash. So his -main- reason
> for
> >using the GPL is to prevent work done in the community from being lost.
> He really should take the time to back up his drives. ;-) But, assuming
> that he wishes to use this rather unusual backup mechanism, why would the
> GPL be any better at this than a BSD-style license?
Yeah, i didn't quite get that argument either.

> >There are of course other points. The LGPL is the GPL without the
> >restrictions which prevent useful commercial use.
> Alas, this is not true. The latest version of the LGPL -- which
> RMS dubs the "Lesser GPL" -- imposes many restrictions which
> make commercial use difficult if not impossible. For example, it
> requires that software including the library be provided not
> just as a finished product but as a series of object files which
> can be lined with a newer version of the library. Not only is
> this a maintenance and logistics nightmare; because it exposes
> the symbol tables, it makes reverse engineering of the code
> trivial. This is by design.
Yes, the purpose of LGPL is to force proprietary components to be in 
seperate relinkable object files.  Again, this is not new information-- 
just like saying the FSF is trying to keep people out of the proprietary 
software business is not new information.

The only symbols you'll have to export from these proprietary objects will 
be the exports, I'm sure you could come up with a way to make sure the 
internal symbols don't get shown to the world since you are such a great 
proprietary software developer.

And don't be concerned about looking at LGPL code either.  I too develop 
proprietary software and I develop some of that software using free (LGPL) 
libraries.  There is nothing preventing me from looking at the source to 
these libraries I am using.  I am not infected with the (L)GPL and thus 
unable to write proprietary software.

So far in every case (well, actually settlement) involving the GPL it has 
been a very clear violation of somebody linking their software with GPL 
software, or knowingly incorporating GPLed code into a product.  That is 
clearly not allowed by the GPL.  However linking LGPL components with 
proprietary components /is/ allowed so long as you provide a way to 
continue to modify the LGPL components and relink them with the 
proprietary components.  This is, in effect, the stated purpose of the 
LGPL.  Why is this so hard for you to understand?


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