Wine license change

James A Sutherland james at
Wed Feb 13 11:41:37 CST 2002

On Wednesday 13 February 2002 5:20 pm, Dan Kegel wrote:

> The LGPL will provide a way for service-oriented businesses like
> Codeweaver or Red Hat, who write code for others for a living, to thrive.

Just as they can under the current license...

> Intellectual-property-oriented businesses might not be so happy
> philosophically with the LGPL, but if you believe the arguments of Patrik
> and Roger from Dec 18th or so, which say the LGPL is powerless
> to prevent companies from linking in proprietary extensions,
> they ought to be able to cope.

So, two possibilities:

1. The LGPL allows companies to make proprietary changes and sell the result, 
just as they can now. i.e. no change, no point in changing...

2. The LGPL does prevent TransGaming, Corel and others using and contributing 
to Wine in the way they have been, and presumably deters others in future 
with similar ideas. Worse than the current situation: significantly harms 
Wine development.

With the exception of the original "I think Wine is being hurt by not using 
the LGPL, but can't say why", can anyone point to a real example of Wine 
losing out? Corel, Transgaming, Codeweavers and Lindows have all contributed 
to Wine; 3 of those 4, it seems, could/would not have done so under the LGPL. 
Does Wine gain ANYTHING from such a change? (Apart from protecting from 
theoretical threats which have never been sighted in real life, despite the 
number of other projects under similar licenses, that is!)

I don't buy much of Brett's conspiracy theory - AFAICS, neither RMS nor the 
FSF have any hand here - but equally, I can't see any reason to change a 
license which has, so far, benefitted Wine considerably. If it ain't broke, 
why try to "fix" it?


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