Clarification on my call for license change

Patrik Stridvall ps at
Fri Feb 15 13:58:44 CST 2002

> First of all, let me say that my call for a change was not
> based on a single mysterious event.  It was triggered
> by an event that I cannot discuss due to a confidentiality
> agreement.  More important, it is a culmination of a number 
> of events and disturbing trends which I can freely discuss.

For the record:
As far as I'm concerned, I do believe you, when you say that.
This however doesn't mean that your conclusion is correct.

In your case there is really two questions:
Is LGPL good for CodeWeavers?
Is LGPL good for Wine?

Just because you might possibly be right as far as CodeWeavers
are concern doesn't nessarily mean that it is good for Wine.
> We've already discussed the concern with the InstallShield
> related patches of Transgaming; I won't belabor
> that now.  But doesn't it bother anyone else that
> Marcus spent 5 weeks redoing work that they already had?

I think this perfectly illustrates the danger in believing
that not giving back things that are not strategically
important for a specific business model is a viable
thing to do.

That said, I do regret that Marcus had to spend time to 
in concrete terms illustrating that point.

> Wouldn't you rather be able to better play Monkey Island instead?

Actually no, I don't like Monkey Island. :-)

Seriously, I don't think anybody believe that double work is good,
so the answer is pretty obvious.

> I have always felt that in order for Wine to progress,
> it was important that changes to Wine be returned
> to the Wine project.

Yes, so far we agree.

> It has always been clear to me
> that if everyone returns the work, in the long run,
> everyone benefits.

I think the flaw in your thinking lies here.
At first glance this seems to be an obviously true statement.

However, if you analyze it more carefully, you will find that
it is not nessarily so that the persons that benefits from
the work are the same people that are able to do the work.

This is not a problem if you have a free market,
then the people that benefits for the work will hire those
people that can do the work if the benefit outweights the

If futhermore some sort of work protection exist then you
can more efficiently share the cost since you don't have to
worry that somebody steals (read: copies) the work after it
is done and can try to recoup the remaining, costs after you
have done the work. 

In short:
With work protection people able to do the work don't need
to find enough people benefiting from a work to cover all
the costs from start.

The LGPL means that no work protection exists anymore you
have to give the work back and thus people doing the work
must have full costs covered before doing the work.

You can absurdly enough compare it to a world without
copyright protection. The arguments against using the LGPL
for a project is basicly the same as the one for having
copyright protection in the world.

Now you probably think I'm a total nutcase. You will probably say:
"The arguments for copyright protection can clearly not be
the same as the one against LGPL."

No they can't, of course not, but I didn't say that:
Notice the difference of scale "for a project" compared
to "in the world".

This makes your statement below false, since it the dual
of your statement, a IMHO good slogan for people that
believes all information should be free is the following:
"If everybody can use everybody else work,
in the long run, everybody benefits"

You see the similarity don't you?

This is of course not a conclusive argument against the LGPL,
I do not claim it is, but it still makes your statement false.

> So, with each and every one of my major 
> customers over the past three years, I have had a major, knock
> down, drag out fight over licensing.  I have always
> insisted that changes we make to Wine be returned to
> Wine.  This has meant (while in a sales situation) 
> explaining the complexities of BSD versus GPL
> licenses.

Yes and it makes sense that you do because increasing
the amount of freely available Wine code can only benifit
you, since you can use it in other projects for other

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