Licensing response and an idea

Roger Fujii rmf at
Thu Feb 14 05:08:30 CST 2002

Tony Bryant <brd at> wrote:
> > The (L)GPL is thus extremely discriminatory against programmers.
> It just forces a different way of making money - charging for your
> time, not charging for your IP. Revolutionary concept - charge for
> work done.  Doesn't exactly fit with the bill gates of this world,
> but for small programmers like myself, most of my work is one-offs
> anyway.

what is so "revolutionary" about that idea?!  Consulting services
where they charge by the hour has been around for quite a while.  
The PROBLEM with this model is that it forces all the costs up front,
thus making it unafforable for people without a large budget.  

A simple example goes as follows:
  Let's say I want a device driver for a scanner.  I find a relatively
  proficient programmer and s/he said it's about $1000 worth of work.
  Under the *GPL model, I have 3 choices:
    1) Pay him/her $1000 for a driver for a $200 scanner
    2) Go out and play salesman and find others to defer the cost.
    3) Write it myself (and for the sake of argument right now, let's say
       this isn't an option)

  Under the normal commercial route, you can make up other options that try
  to keep the per user cost down. 
> (L)GPL just doesn't suit business people. i.e. those expecting to sit
> back and watch the money roll in.

I really hate it when things are characterized in this fashion because it
shows a fundamental misunderstanding of how normal businesses work.  Companies
that don't have monopoly power survives by accepting risks and deriving 
benefit from their success(es).  If I spend $10M developing a software project,
I'm not "sitting back and watching the money roll in" when the product starts
selling.  If you're good, you'll have more money at the end than when you
started. If not, you'll fail.  This is the main concept behind "free enterprise".
> One has to wonder why it matters what other people do with Wine. Wasn't
> Wine developed because we wanted to run some windoze apps on linux?
> Who really cares what codeweavers, transgaming etc do to it. Just as
> long as I can still run my windows apps on linux, I'm happy. If lindows
> sells a few copies of what is effectively free, what skin is it off
> our noses?

I was wondering that too, and have come to the following conclusion: Either
 1) They believe like the FSF and don't think propriatary software should exist
 2) Are not comfortable with the idea of giving up code freely for the good of all.
 3) Misunderstand the effects of the *GPL
 4) Expect to be paid in other people's work.


More information about the wine-devel mailing list