Wine license change

Brett Glass brett at
Sun Feb 10 15:54:19 CST 2002

At 02:17 PM 2/10/2002, Anthony Taylor wrote:

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

Thank you.

>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.

Actually, I have taken great pains only to repeat assertions that Stallman
himself has made regarding his intentions and the design goals of the FSF's
licenses. I am not attacking him; I am repeating faithfully what he himself
has stated. If people mistake this for an attack, it is perhaps because
they are incredulous; they find it hard to believe that his views could be
so extreme! But anyone who knows him -- including some contributors to
WINE such as Jeremy White -- can vouch for what I say: those really are 
his views and intentions.

>In fact, the FSF itself sells software; they are not against commercialization of software, as you have claimed.  

This is, alas, not quite true. The FSF sells CDs and tapes containing *copies* 
of software. The software itself is not licensed for money, and the FSF is 
vehemently opposed to any such practice. 

The FSF has no problem with anyone being in the menial, commodity business 
of manufacturing plastic discs or magnetic tapes. But being in the business 
of developing software or other intellectual property and then licensing it 
for money is, according to Richard Stallman and Bradley Kuhn, "evil" and 
"wrong." (I've put the words in quotes, by the way, because they ARE quotes. 
They're the words that both men use in public forums.)

>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.  

Since the developers will be making the decision regarding the licensing of
the software they write, it's appropriate that there be a discussion about
that here. 

I agree wholeheartedly that such discussion shouldn't be a constant distraction
or devolve into a "flame war." I have taken great pains to express my point 
of view very carefully and to make sure that nothing I've posted could be 
construed as "flamage." Alas, it is often true -- especially on Internet 
mailing lists -- that people who want to quash intelligent discussion will 
start to flame, hoping that the entire exchange will devolve into a flame war. 
By doing so, they hope to get others to call for an end to discussion. If 
they're successful, they can successfully silence the expression of views 
do not like. I'm not accusing you personally of doing this; you've 
challenged my assertions (which is fine!) but haven't been flaming. Some 
other messages aimed at me have been pure flames, though.

>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.

I agree, as I have said above, that the developers have the right to make
the decision. But because they are doing the entire project for the benefit
of users as well as for themselves, they certainly should care about how
users feel. What's more, if they are seeking bug fixes or help with
development, they certainly should care how potential contributors feel.
Finally, they should care about how advocates of the project feel. While 
advocacy does not expand the code base, it does expand the base of users
and testers. Hence, it plays an important role in any collaborative 
software project.

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

I am about to leave on a trip during which my connectivity will be limited,
and so this will happen by itself shortly. But I did want to state the case
for continued truly free licensing of WINE -- for the benefit not only of 
myself and other users and advocates but of the WINE project.

>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.

I agree. If anyone has considered any of my messages to be a "flame" rather
than rational discussion, I apologize; nothing I've written was meant to be
a "flame." I really do want to be able to continue to work with, advocate,
and (hopefully) contribute to, WINE, and this has been the reason for the
volume of passionate messages I've posted over the past few days.

--Brett Glass

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