Wine license change

Anthony Taylor tony at
Thu Feb 14 12:59:20 CST 2002

On Thu, 2002-02-14 at 13:29, Brett Glass wrote:
> At 05:33 PM 2/13/2002, Anthony Taylor wrote:
> >Currently, there are only a few software companies making huge amounts
> >of money.  It's not *just* Free Software-based software companies. 
> >Cygnus had problems making money; so is Borland.  
> Ironically, Borland is having trouble because it made the mistake of
> targeting the Linux platform. Many Linux users have "moral" objections
> to paying for a product, and so either have not bought Kylix or have
> pirated it. At the February 2000 LinuxWorld, Bradley Kuhn of the FSF
> disparaged Borland's products in front of a large audience. He told
> the group that Borland's products are "a proprietary threat to freedom," 
> and urged developers in the audience to write a GPLed clone and not to 
> buy Borland's tools.

Borland was in trouble well before it ported its products to Linux.   
Now you're just rationalizing.  Their port to Linux was an attempt to
move into a potentially-unexploited development platform. And
attributing Be's downfall to Linux is absurd; they addressed completely
different OS spaces.  Be targetted multimedia production, an area Linux
in which Linux is not strong.  Plus, Be had been around long before
Linux became well-known.

Also, you haven't addressed any of the failed software companies that
had nothing to do with Linux, or GPLd code.

> >Yes, it's easier to make money when you induce artificial scarcity in a
> >product.
> Insisting that you be paid before giving someone your work is not
> "inducing artificial scarcity" any more than my refusal to do, say,
> unpaid plumbing work is doing so. It's simply necessary to earn a 
> living! ;-)

Plumbing is done on a case-by-case basis.  You are paid for the work you
do when you do it; this is hardly "artificial scarcity."  The same can
happen in programming.  I do that; I am paid as I do my work.  I make
good money.  Others do the same thing.  I do not feel cheated at all.

The artificial scarcity comes when a proprietary software company
released binary-only programs, charging an exorbitant sum for the
privelege of using their software.  If the software is buggy, there is
no recall, there are rarely patches that fix any but the most serious
bugs/security holes, and there is no chance to fix the software
yourself.  You cannot give the software to someone you know.  Fine: this
is copyright law, and is the perogotive of the publisher.

Most coding is not done in a proprietary software house.  Most is done
internally, in banks and pizza parlors and museums and government labs. 
Most coders get paid for writing code that will never be sold.  (It
does, however, have intrinsic value to the company.)  If these coders
choose to code on the side, it is their perogotive to determine how
their code is used.  For my code, I place the same restrictions on
proprietary software houses that they would place on me.  This is the
bronze rule: "Do unto others as they would do unto you."  I'm damned
spiteful, so that is what I do.  Plus, it's my code, I can do whatever I
please with it, for the *exact same* reason proprietary software houses
can restrict their code however they wish.

There's a certain symmetry here.

Most programmers who get paid to produce proprietary software do not get
rich off their work.  The successful software companies do.  I am paid
about the same as most programmers working for Microsoft.  I don't
produce as much code(my duties are primarily database related, not code
related).  *I am not getting cheated by writing GPL code.*  I am not
cheating anyone else by writing GPLd code.

				- Tony

PS: Sorry, I know I signed out of this discussion.  I apologize for
getting sucked back in; but my emotions are running hot over this issue.

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