Dr. Seuss, licensing, and WINE
ps at leissner.se
Sat Feb 9 18:18:34 CST 2002
> On 2002.02.09 06:39 Patrik Stridvall wrote:
> > > > 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".
> > > >
> > > Actually, IYRC, and IIRC, I pretty much agreed with you
> that the LGPL
> > > actually WOULD allow one to implement proprietary code simply
> > > by releasing
> > > small wrapper functions as LGPL code.
> > Yes, but you was one of the few. Alexandre in particular seemed
> > to believe it depended on some strange notation of whether it
> > was intentional or.
> In some ways it is. Many times when entities are violating
> some license
> or law a decision is partly based on what exactly their
> intentions were.
> Although I would not like to rely on this and I think
> clarifying what and
> what is not allowed is better than leaving it up to good intentions.
Yes, but in the case of copyright it doesn't really make much sense.
For determining the punishment for any infringment, yes.
For determining whether something infringes, no.
And sure I guess hiding behind fair use is harder if you intent is bad.
However does the Joe Hacker in my earlier example that used a propriety
library to avoid dual booting and shared it with fellow hobbyists
have "intent to infringe"?
I claim that every work either violates copyright in and of itself
or not at all. Nothing else makes much sense. How can you determine
the intent of the author of work, if for example the author is anonymous.
Sure if the author or the process of authorship is unknown you
really can't claim indepent derivation if you (not the author)
distribute the work and if some judge thinks it similar enough with
another work to infringe. However that judgement was for obvious reason
made by examination of the work in and of itself.
> > > Thus TransGaming does not hurt. Lindows really doesn't hurt
> > > either, and
> > > the users of Lindows win because should they need to
> update the LGPL
> > > components of Wine they can do so and still continue to link
> > > to Lindows
> > > binary only components.
> > Exactly, but they will be able to do that without the LGPL.
> > It is in the respective companies intrest to make it so.
> If that is so, then why aren't they doing it already?
1. Lack of time.
2. Lack of insight what their users might want.
3. Lack of concerned users.
I'm sure you can find more reasons.
> > > Now you may consider this not enough to stop the less honourable
> > > companies. Yeah, you're right. Lindows can continue to
> > > build upon wine,
> > > add their own stuff, and release a product. The only
> > > difference is that
> > > now they can't just fold all the wine code into the binary..
> > > they have to
> > > allow the user to update the wine code. That is the purpose
> > > of the LGPL.
> > > Unlike the GPL which tries to make all software free
> > > software, the LGPL
> > > tries to keep free software as free software, and proprietary
> > > software as
> > > proprietary software.
> > Yes. But that is NOT an argument for using LGPL as I have
> said above.
> Sure it is. The LGPL's purpose in life is to make sure the
> users of the
> program can continue to recompile the code that was LGPL to
> begin with.
OK. Reformulate. There is no reason to force this to happend,
since it is likely to happend eventually anyway. See below.
> > > Now let's say we take the stricter interpretation that you
> > > cannot do the
> > > above. That is bad I think.
> > >
> > > How about going to LGPL and add a clause that clarifies that
> > > the above is
> > > in fact allowed?
> > Why confuse the company lawyer even more?
> > Even if I would be inclined to agree, I would rather let
> the FSF lawyers
> > draw up a completely new license lets call it, hmm, MGPL (Middleware
> > GPL),
> > for use in, hmm, what should I call it, say two-ended
> libraries that Wine
> > IMHO really is.
> > This MGPL should clarify that it is legal to "plug-in" proprietary
> > application/libraries in both ends while code the middle that is
> > the Wine source code should have some copyleft like protection and
> > additional that sublicening the code as LGPL is allowed.
> > Note however I'm not really proposing this but it might be
> a reasonable
> > compromise. Perhaps something for the LGPL camp to chew on.
> What you describe sounds to me like what I am describing. A
> modified and
> clarified LGPL. Essentially when you start adding or
> deleting from the
> LGPL you are in fact making a new license. You are saying
> the same thing
> I am.
As you wish, this is of no moment.
> [Quote Dennis Miller: Y'know.. I don't want to get off on a
> rant here...]
> > > > 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.
> > > >
> > > You can thank the "liberal" media for that one. :-(
> > Well, that is just the symptom.
> > The ignorant masses are the real problem IMHO.
> > Unfortunately, there is no serious alternative to democracy,
> > so I'm a loss what to do. :-(
> True. Actually, I think the media is more of a symptom of
> catering to them for years now.
Well of course they do since that is one of the few way they
can reach their voters. It is still the ignorant masses that
are the real problem unfortunately.
Increased education will only get you so far and it is
never any substitute for logical thinking.
Of course, the ignorant masses really gets what they deserve.
I primarily think it is unfortunate that I live in the
same world as them.
> Look at the administration
> now. They
> don't take any shit and just tell it like it is. Bush may not be an
> excellent speaker but he seems to say what's on his mind and
> doesn't try
> to always be the media's bitch like Billy-boy and his wife did.
Sometimes the ignorant masses are lucky sometimes they are not.
> > Lets return the easy problem of finding of good license for
> Wine. :-)
> Yeah, sorry, just had to get off on a little rant about the media.
> > > Especially see MSNBC. What a crock of shit that is..
> > > figures, it being a
> > > MS product and all :-). The reporters on that station are
> > > just horrible.
> > > They ask a question and when they get a totally straight
> > > answer that they
> > > don't agree with they just ask it again and again changing a
> > > few words to
> > > make it seem like it's a different question.
> > Well, people watch the shit, so they get what the deserve.
> > Unfortunately it hurt us other as well, but then we really can't
> > limit their freedom of speech, can we?
> Yeah, doesn't that suck. Kind of like people use proprietary
> software so
> they get what they deserve. We can't stop them from using it as that
> limits the freedom's of the proprietary software companies
> and the users
> who want to use that software. However what we can do is
> remove the need
> to use proprietary software. Wine is a first step towards this.
Yes, but I never think the need for proprietary software will disappear.
> > > > 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
> > > > positions.
> > > >
> > > Yeah, so far it only seems like the people who caught
> this story on
> > > slashdot are among the ignorant masses. :-/
> > I wouldn't really call them the ignorant masses but rather the
> > I-can-almost-but-not-quite-understand-this masses. Since they
> > don't fully understand it they assume that it is something
> > bad and post their unordered thoughts in hope that other might
> > make something out of it.
> Yeah, sometimes a little knowledge is far worse than none at
> all. Usually
> this is only the case when people think that a little
> knowledge makes them
> an expert and get big-egos.
> > > We should collectively think of the different scenarios and
> > > ask one very
> > > important question: Do we /really/ want to prevent this
> scenario from
> > > happening?
> > Ah, I forgot that very important question. I intend to supply it but
> > somehow
> > it got lost. But perhaps the question:
> > 1. Do you consider his or her behavior morally or ethically
> > sums it up pretty well as well.
> Sounds kind of like my.. do you think it should be allowed question,
> although put in a better way.
Ah yes, you are right, we probably should ask the opposite question as well:
Do you consider it morally or ethically defendable to
prevent this behavior?
> > > Personally I have warmed up a slight bit to the idea of
> > > Lindows. At first
> > > I was a bit like.. those dickheads took wine, added a few
> > > things, and are
> > > gonna sell it for $100/seat and we're not getting any of that
> > > or even any
> > > improvements back!? That bites.
> > >
> > > But now I realize that we need to put that emotion aside and
> > > look at how
> > > exactly lindows harms wine (which it does).
> > >
> > > The first thing is the issue of binary-only wine that can't
> > > be changed and
> > > has absolutely no source. That really bites for the user
> who is thus
> > > locked into Lindows complete package and cannot even change
> > > the parts of
> > > wine that Lindows has nothing to do with.
> > If Lindows prevents users from updating their version of Wine
> > it is really their and their users problems not our problem.
> This is simply not true. This is very much Wine's problem.
> If I need
> some of Lindows's functionality to run my program but would
> still like to
> be able to hack on other parts of Wine then I, as a developer
> and user, am
So complain with Lindows support or abandon Lindows and use something
else or whatever. Eventually they will learn to listen to their customers.
> > > If we were LGPL
> > > and allowed
> > > importing functions from non-LGPL components then Lindows
> > > could still add
> > > value by implementing APIs in their own DLL or DLLs and
> > > loading them from
> > > wine. In fact, they don't need to be DLLs. They could just
> > > put all their
> > > stuff in their own closed source file, compile it, and
> > > distribute the .o
> > > so that end users (their customers) can later take that .o
> > > file plus the
> > > LGPLd modifications to wine that make it use the functions in
> > > that .o, and
> > > link it into a newer version of wine.
> > I don't see why we should adapt our license to cater for people
> > that make bad choices and suffer because of it. Especially
> > when such a license might scare other people that might help
> > us away.
> Because people make mad choices every day and don't realize
Indeed, but stupidity is its own reward.
> We cannot
> put our work on the line and say "Well, hopefully no one will
> make bad
> choices with it".
You can never prevent people from doing bad choice with a product:
"Design a product even an idiot can use and only an idiot will use it"
> > Regardless of any fun you might have had. Ask this question:
> > Would you have consider it ethically or morally defendable if the
> > Wine license had prevented you from using a proprietary ASPI
> > library with Wine and distributing the result to your friends.
> YES! That is my point. I would have done it anyway even if
> their was a
> proprietary version. And I think it is important that we
> allow people to
> use and distribute proprietary components with a free software Wine.
> > > Anyway.. these are just two.. there are more I'm sure.. I
> > > really need to
> > > go to bed though.
> > Different time zones. I returned from a late breakfast to
> > find your mail. :-)
> Hmm, well, I suppose about the time I sent it I could've gone
> to an early
> breakfast since it was like 5am.
Well, my father usual gets up at that time. :-)
> What was it, like noon or 1
> where you
I recieve that mail at 11.20 am.
Speaking of time it is now 1.00 am for me.
Time for bed as soon as I finish answering this.
> > > Before I do so, I would like to point you to the
> wxWindows website.
> > >
> > > According to their short license summary they use LGPL but
> > > also allow you
> > > to distribute a binary linking with wxWindows included. That
> > > exception
> > > would not be appropriate for wine (in fact, it's like the
> > > main advantage
> > > for us to use the LGPL I think). However we could do a
> similar style
> > > thing and say: "We're LGPL but we specifically allow you to
> > > create stub
> > > functions in our library that call out to your
> proprietary component.
> > See my suggestion about the "MGPL" instead.
> This is really the same thing as a clarified LGPL. It's not
> necessary to
> write from the ground up a new license, but if we need to
> take the LGPL
> and strike out certain sections and/or add to it then that is
> far better
> than writing a new license completely from scratch.
No, it is not, because we want the license to be very clear
on what is allowed and what is not. No patchwork. A clear
license with only the absolute minimum number of paragraphs.
Remember we want companies working on Wine without having
to spend to much money on their lawyers.
> > > Hopefully we can get this resolved this time... It's looking
> > > promising
> > > given the few and far between somewhat clear posts and
> > > disregarding the
> > > ill-informed wanna-be-on-slashdot shit.
> > We will see. I'm neither optimistic nor pessimistic for the moment.
> Well, I /hope/ we can get this resolved since we're talking
> about the same
> things. Your only real concern at this point seems to be
> that if we were
> to move to LGPL that some companies may not like it because
> it's complex.
Basicly but I very much fear that even a MGPL would be to complex.
> They can pay lawyers to figure it out for them. Why do you
> think lawyers
> make all the money anyway.
Because the money that they can avoid spending on lawyers could
be spent on improving Wine instead.
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