Wine license change

Anthony Taylor tony at
Sun Feb 10 15:17:07 CST 2002

Brett Glass wrote:

>At 12:09 PM 2/10/2002, Francois Gouget wrote:
>> As you yourself admitted you are not a Wine devlopper. You may pose
>>yourself as a 'potential developper' to try to gain legitimacy, but the
>>truth is you are nothing more than a third party, just like the FSF and
>>Richard Stallman. This makes your comments no more relevant than those
>>of any other third party, Richard Stallman and the FSF included.
>This is what's known as arguing ad hominem. The relevance of a comment 
>does not depend upon who makes it.
>--Brett Glass
Mr. Glass,

Your explaination of your concerns with viewing GPL code was excellent. 
 Although I do not completely share those concerns, I understand them.

However, this comment clearly shows two things.  First, you have used ad 
hominem attacks on RMS several times in this argument, making claims 
that have been refuted both here and by his own actions.  In fact, the 
FSF itself sells software; they are not against commercialization of 
software, as you have claimed.  Neither is Stallman.  So your comment 
shows lack of understanding of yourself.

Secondly, this demonstrates you do not grok the dynamics of Free 
software projects.  Of *course* degree of involvement in a project 
directly affects the validity of one's opinion concerning that project. 
 My degree of involvement is essentially zero; yours is apparently less 
than that.  Our opinions count for nothing, other than as interested 
third parties.

You have not just expressed an opinion; you have started (and fanned) a 
flame war concerning the validity of software licenses on a development 
list.  I have contributed more than my share of flamage, so I too am 
guilty.  Yes, you see your concerns as valid; from your philosophical 
and political bent, the *are* valid.

But, as a mere user of Wine, your concerns have devolved into 
browbeating.  If you were an active developer, your opinions would carry 
more weight; after all, the developers are the ones putting huge effort 
into this project.  *They* are the ones who should decide how their 
labor of love can and cannot be used.  If they decided to take the code 
private and turn it into a commercial project, no-one can stop them.  It 
is *their* work.  And if they don't want parasites making money off 
their hard work, it is *their* perogotive, not yours or mine.  If they 
want to release it to the public domain (the only truly free, 
unencumbered "license" out there), that is their perogotive.  If they 
want to add a clause that says, "This code is usable by everyone but 
Tony and Brett," that is also their perogotive.  After all, it is 
*their* work, and they have every right to decide how it is to be used.

You have made very good arguments.  Let it stand, and abide their decision.

As for me: I apologize to the dev team for my contributions to this 
flame war.  I will now go back to lurking, and using Wine.  Thank you 
all for your work on Wine.  This is a monumental piece of software, and 
you deserve the right to decide how it is used.


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