Wine license change

John Alvord jalvo at
Mon Feb 11 11:25:13 CST 2002

On Mon, 11 Feb 2002 00:35:10 -0600 (CST), Sean Farley
<sean at> wrote:

>On Sun, 10 Feb 2002 19:47, Francois Gouget wrote:
>> On Sun, 10 Feb 2002, jasonp wrote:
>> [...]
>> > From what I've seen Wine is such a huge undertaking that there are still
>> > large areas that are incomplete or in need of much improvement. That seems
>> > different than some of the more well known examples of BSD licensed projects
>> > that's cited as examples of doing fine with a BSD license.
>> > In other words, let's say Wine is "half-way" done (or more). Who would you
>> > want to complete it? Yourselves or companies that would not contribute their
>> > code back to the community?
>> >
>> > Didn't the fragmentation of Unix come from several companies using a BSD or
>> > proprietary licensed codebase?
>> > That fragmentation hasn't been a problem with Linux since it was GPL from day
>> > one. So Linus and the community are still the ones with control and ownership
>> > of Linux, not any single company.
>> >
>> > If several different *competing* companies take off with the existing Wine
>> > code it will without doubt fragment. In fact it seems like it already has. If
>> > there are several different proprietary Wines floating around without
>> > improvements and code available then the Wine group's leverage of being the
>> > "official source" would diminish in a way that Linux, GNU, KDE, etc have
>> > manged to maintain with the *GPL license.
>>    This is a very important point. So much so that it is worth
>> expanding, even if it means repeating it somewhat.
>>    With the current license, if a company returns code to Wine it has no
>> garantee that its competitors will do the same. Quite the opposite, it
>> has all reasons to expect its competitors to take all that code, and put
>> it in their products while not releasing any code of their own. These
>> are the rules of the game with BSD/X11 licenses and I see nothing
>> morally wrong with them.
>>    But I believe that the results will be bad for Wine:
>>  * only companies that don't depend on Wine will return their code.
>> Examples are Corel, Borland and other software vendors who released
>> products based on Wine. They are few and far between.
>This is a falsehood.  Transgaming did not need to release their code.
>IBM did not need to release their code for Apache.  BSDi did not need to
>release their code to FreeBSD.

At the time, I remember that IBM wanted to use the Apache code in
products. The Apache group only agreed under the condition that IBM
"paid" by giving back source code changes. That has led to a history
of cooperation.

john alvord

More information about the wine-devel mailing list