and open source

Michael Robertson michael at
Tue Feb 12 10:05:11 CST 2002

I think a license change would make it more difficult to generate revenue 
through traditional software selling models. From our initial funds, we've 
paid the salaries of many on this list for the last few months with most of 
the code going back to the main tree. Our hope is to produce a great 
product that people will buy and allow us to continue to fund development 
on WINE and other initiatives. It's such a big problem that I believe you 
need companies, capital with a dedicated concentration to accomplish it. I 
fear that a license change would hurt for-profit companies incentive to 
continue to make such investments.

-- MR

At 09:39 PM 2/12/2002 +0800, you wrote:
>It's great to have your opinion on this list Michael.. -devel or not,
>these are important issues to the future of both this project and open
>source in general!
>But a quick question on the current debate, if you will..
>Would Lindows as a company have issue with WINE changing license to the
>LGPL. The main objections at the moment seems to be that an LGPL license
>would scare commercial companies willing to spend money on WINE would be
>scared off by the LGPL.
>It's known that Transgaming takes this stance, that they don't particually
>want the LGPL because it breaks their buisness model. Codeweavers seems to
>want the LGPL at this time... what is Lindows opinion?
>Although I can't afford to get a trial copy at the moment, from what I've
>heard you are already using a fair portion of code under GPL or GPL-esque
>licensing, and your main buisness model seems to be more along the lines
>of making money from selling a distribution with support (eg,
>Redhat style) than actually making money of your IP itself...
>I'd like to hear something from companies who actually ARE spending money
>on Wine, than theoretical comments of what a license change would mean to
>companies that arn't :)
>         James 'Ender' Brown
>On Mon, 11 Feb 2002, Michael Robertson wrote:
> > Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2002 12:06:39 -0800
> > From: Michael Robertson <michael at>
> > To: wine-devel at
> > Subject: and open source
> >
> > Claude,
> >
> > >From: Claus Fischer ("claus.fischer at
> > >If the current license allows Lindows to make proprietary
> > >modifications and not give anything back, it certainly
> > >allows Codeweavers/whoever to make proprietary modifications
> > >and give back under LGPL.
> > >
> > >Those who don't want to even read LGPL code for reasons of
> > >'contamination' just shouldn't read it. You can't read Lindows
> > >code either.
> > >
> > >Why should Codeweavers be morally pressured to contribute under a
> > >steal-me license when steal-it companies don't contribute at all?
> >
> > Just to set the record straight.
> >
> > has had a partner company producing the majority of our WINE
> > code. The vast majority of the code that came from that partnership is in
> > the public tree already.
> >
> > has contributed code to open source projects. We have hired
> > open source companies (spending over 500K) to help us reach our goals with
> > the majority of the code going back to open source. has given
> > financial support to several open source initiatives (such as KDE).
> > has made significant investments in linux companies.  All told,
> > we've spent about 2 million in the 5 months that we've been a company.
> >
> > Linux (and all the other pieces) does 95% of what people want to do today,
> > but only has 1% market share. Our belief is that the code is largely not
> > the limiting factor for adoption now. It's all the pieces that go around
> > the code. It's education, it's marketing, it's lobbying, it's business
> > development, etc. These are big tasks which are critical to success, even
> > more so than the code itself (think AOL). I know this won't be a popular
> > thing to stay on a mailing list with "devel" in the title, but it's where
> > we believe linux is and what we believe needs to happen to get to the next
> > level. This doesn't mean the code isn't important, it is but there are
> > other critical elements.
> >
> > We need and 10 more thriving companies to help with the expense
> > of educating, lobbying, marketing, etc. desktop solutions. It's expensive
> > to do those things and a burden that needs to be shared by several
> > companies because the job is so enormous and the competitor so strong. The
> > Linux community, especially the desktop community needs healthy ongoing
> > companies to put in capital, organization, and other support. If we can put
> > a few million more people running Linux on the desktop, then magical things
> > will happen. Drivers for linux will be available, higher quality linux
> > software will emerge, more OEMs will offer linux as an option, devices will
> > have linux interfaces, governments will view linux differently, etc.
> >
> > There are some small, but meaningful for-profit companies out there today
> > in linux (such as codeweavers and transgaming). The more companies in the
> > linux desktop space there are, the more companies that will be able to pay
> > their rates on an ongoing basis and hire them to code great products.
> > There's tremendous opportunity and the more companies out there the better.
> >
> > As for our marketing message, it's designed for my Grandma. Anytime there's
> > a word on the website she doesn't understand she calls me up. Try
> > explaining a recursive acronym to your Grandma. Yikes. Our goal with
> > is to bring Linux to the segment of the world who thinks linux
> > is spelled with a 'y' and is a small bobcat.
> >
> > -- MR
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > michael at
> > 858-410-5941
> >
> > Bring choice to computers: Become a Insider
> >
michael at

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