Wine license change

Paul Millar paulm at
Sun Feb 10 14:29:31 CST 2002

Some thoughts ...

On Sun, 10 Feb 2002, Roger Fujii wrote:
> Daniel Sabo <sorry at> wrote:
> > Neither the BSD or GPL is  free, only public domain is free.
> The problem with PD software is this screwed up litigious era we live
> in the US.

Thankfully things aren't as bad here in the UK (so far ...)

> > Which on you use doesn't depend on freedom, it depends on your goal.
> true.  though the point I was making was BSD *IS* freer than GPL.

You can't (correctly) say that. A more correct statement is "I consider
BSD to be freer than GPL", but you can't assert that truth for everyone.  
There is a fundamental dichotomy between BSD and GPL in what they consider
View #1:
  BSD  - here's the source code, do what you want
  LGPL - here's the source code, do what you want but only if you make the 
         source code available.
(which if freer?)

View #2:
  BSD  - Joe Developer can use any copy of the source code, except those 
         juicy bits in propitiatory products.
  LGPL - Joe Developer can use any copy of the source code.
(which is freer?)

You could say: pah! view #1 is rubbish because of X and you might be
right;  alternatively you could say view #2 is nonsense because of Y and
again you could be right. Either way, these are _your_ opinions, they are
not universal truths.

So can we quit with the "this license is freer that" statements. Its
immaterial as what we're after is the best license for the continued
development of wine.

> "J.Brown (Ender/Amigo)" <ender at> wrote:
> >  a) LGPL will stop commercial development
> Hinder, and this is NOT debatable. [snip]


Although I'm not convinced that hindering _some_ commercial development
necessarily translates into a hindrance of wine. If fact the reverse could
turn out to be true.

> No, but you may not be able to accept the terms of the [LGPL] license 
> (for legal reasons).  Read the paragraph of section 6. 

I'm not sure I follow you, could you be more specific? (which paragraph of
section 6 and in what way is it not acceptable for legal reasons)

> However, if ALL of wine
> is LGPLed, it is not debatable that no propriatary additions can be
> made, as the spec compiler will prevent that from happening.

gcc is GPLed (rather than LGPLed). Although it's not stated explicitly
anywhere, there is at least one acknowledgement on their web page that you
can compile proprietary code with gcc.

How does the spec compiler differ functionally from gcc?

> > Thus RMS complains it isn't real "open-source"... Neither the LGPL or GPL
> > prevents charging for software, 

Whoa! Having met the guy I can tell you RMS would never describe GPL or
LGPL as "open source". Whether you make the distinction between "Free" and
"Open Source", he certainly does.

I'm also surprised that he would have said that (if you substitute "free"  
for "open-source"). AFAIK, FSF is trying to put together a complete free
(as defined on their webpages) OS. I'd imagine whether or not money is
charged is irrelevant, from his point of view. Do you have a reference for
that statement?

> ???  Read 2C of LGPL.  You can charge for the disk, but you CANNOT charge
> for the software.

Forgive the gratuitous cut and paste (from LGPL v2):
> 2. You may modify your copy or copies of the Library or any portion of
> it, thus forming a work based on the Library [ ... ] provided that you
> also meet all of these conditions:
>    * c) You must cause the whole of the work to be licensed at no charge
>         to all third parties under the terms of this License.

ANAL, but within the context of the whole section I take "the whole of the
work"  (of section 2.c) to refer to the library plus any modifications to
the library you make to it. So under the license, if you create SuperWine
(wine + bug fixes) you must release the source for all of SuperWine, not
just the original wine sourcecode. IMHO it is badly worded as "the work"
has more than one meaning within the license as a whole.



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