BSD, Gav, LGPL, Jeremy, and business

Patrik Stridvall ps at
Sat Feb 16 04:50:11 CST 2002

> At 02:38 AM 2/16/2002, Patrik Stridvall wrote:
> >I'm sorry if I sound a little angry but it seems that some
> >of people have found me guilty by association with you
> Patrik, don't you see? We're both guilty of the same sin:
> saying that everything does not revolve around the Earth.
> While we have different views of how things DO work, 
> there's exceedingly strong evidence for what we say. 

Perhaps. But I think you seem to focus on worst case
scenarios, many of them are IMHO unlikely to happend,
which impacts negatively on your credebillity.

> But because it's contrary to some people's "religious" 
> beliefs they would rather excommunicate us, suppress
> what we have to say, or burn us at the stake than listen.

I don't think it is quite that easy. I don't think
most of them have an "religious" belief in the LGPL.
I think they simple see it as a way to both eat the
cake and have it while trivialize the price they 
have to pay in the order to acceive this.

Note, however, that sometimes, but only sometimes,
this price is actually worth paying, see below.
> >What you are doing IMHO is pure fear mongering,
> No, it's not. I am making predictions based on what
> has happened to other businesses in the recent past,
> as well as sound economic principles. I'm not advocating
> or attempting to induce fear. 

I do not believe that you try to induce fear,
but by focusing on unlikely to happend scenarios
you cause fear regarless.

> But if the outcome does not
> look rosy, it's because WINE really would head down a 
> very destructive path if it were (L)GPLed.

Wine will survive regardless. However I very much
fear that it might impact negatively on the willingless
of companies to invest in the Wine market and thus
reducing the speed which Wine develops with.

Note that when Wine fully works (close to 100% of all Windows
applications run) it will not matter what license we have,
there will be no money in anything except support anyway
and the LGPL will not hurt that.

It is the way there that worries me. Note that
we can always choose LGPL later, but after we
have choosen it we can't go back.
> >I firmly believe that the GPL and the LGPL has
> >a place in the world. 
> Their place, and purpose, has been stated by Stallman.
> (Not in the licenses themselves, which are designed
> to be deceptive, but in Stallman's words in his more
> candid moments.) It is to turn publicly available
> software into a weapon in his lifelong, personal
> vendetta. Again, he has stated this explicitly
> himself, and it is also well documented by third parties
> such as Levy.

Please, now you are fear mongering again.

I care not whether I support Stallman or not.
I care ONLY about what is good for Wine.
> WINE should rise above this agenda and not become an
> agent of it.

What agenda?

The GPL/LGPL works in ways that are almost the dual to fair use.
Very simplified: It uses copyright to extend fair use.

Fair use have an obvious place in the world.
However trying to extend fair use to legalize (or rather rationalize)
for example Napster like sharing of music clearly takes things too far.

GPL/LGPL have an obvious place in the world.
However it has close to the same price as fair use,
it discourages investment in new works using
classical business models and new business models
need to be found.

This is obvously not so easy, neither in music business nor in
the software business. Possible, yes. Easy, no.

Don't try to stretch my analogy to far. The point is this and only this:
The GPL/LGPL have a place in the world for almost the same reasons
that fair use have a place in the world. However if trying to extend
fair use too far is not good, neither is trying it extend GPL/LGPL too far.

While fair use is nessesary an author can't live of it.
The same with GPL/LGPL.

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