Wine license change

Roger Fujii rmf at
Wed Feb 13 14:42:07 CST 2002

Ian Schmidt <ischmidt at> wrote:
> On Wednesday 13 February 2002 01:28 pm, Brett Glass wrote:
> > business. So, if the company was profitable at all, it was just squeaking
> > through. (And $20M in annual revenues after ten years of existence is no
> > one's idea of "good money" for a company that size.)
> Sure, but they did stay in business for 10 years and were in no reported 
> danger of going out of it.  Not bad by any metric for a license you can't 
> make money off of ;-)

but I wouldn't use the word 'thrive' to describe a company that is barely
profitable (which is what the original poster used).  It's not my opinion
(and probably not even Brent's) that it is *impossible* to eek out a living.
I think the point is that it is DIFFICULT to do so.  I don't mind hearing
GPL advocates say that it is more socially desirable, equitable... (not
that I necessarily agree with it, but it is a valid point of view).  But
I don't see any evidence that it is helpful to commerical entities (which is
some of the reasoning behind a license switch).
> Anyway to steer back toward my point, can you name any pure-BSD/X11 players 
> that are profitable?

well, depends on what you mean by "pure". presumably is.  Usually,
the business model for this is a common group that publishes a reference
port for other vendors, which can build propriatary value adds on top of
the reference port.  Ximian's 'mono' model is based on this logic (I think).
A better way of looking at it is companies that have 'free' licenses that are
NOT *GPL. has a modified license and they seem to be doing ok. 
Apache would a another one.
> See, I think there's a more basic problem, which is that no known business 
> model works really well for source-available software when the software is 
> targeted at technically savvy users.  Things like the Aladdin license are a 
> nice compromise, but ultimately won't lead to Microsoft levels of 
> profitability.  

No one here is advocating for M$ levels of profitability (at least, not for
wine :) ), but the point is correct.  The problem is the *GPL highly limits
what models can be tried. 

> The solution as I see it is for GPL/BSD/whatever programmers to actually 
> cough up something non-technical users not only would use, but would 
> *prefer*.  *Then* support and selling binaries becomes a worthwhile 
> proposition. 

you cannot sell *gpl binaries.  You can sell the media, but not the content.
Think sun has a good idea with dual licensing and having assignment of the
copyright.  This allows them to change the license so that they can make
a productized version.

> Codeweavers is leaning in this direction with CrossOver - even 
> though you could probably duplicate their work eventually with the current 
> Wine CVS, the installer and overall ease of use make it well worth paying for 
> if you value your time at all (I bought it and I love it, if you can't tell). 

Isn't the whole reason this discussion was opened up again was because
they want to release LGPLed code (the inference was that they thought
that their code released under X11/BSD would harm them materially).  The
obvious extrapolation is that a more complete wine under X11/BSD is
not in codeweaver's interest, regardless of where the code came from.
> To put this back on topic, I don't see any immediate benefits from a LGPL 
> license.  If we knew what the threat to Wine Jeremy hinted at was, it might 
> make for a more informed discussion.  I also liked Gav's idea about WineCorp 
> a lot as a compromise, and I'd love to see more dicussion of that and less 
> licensing flaming.



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