LGPL, and real World

Gerhard W. Gruber sparhawk at gmx.at
Sat Feb 16 05:04:07 CST 2002

Hetz Ben-Hamo wrote:

> Now - what if my product is totally a closed source one and my client
> doesn't want to reveal a single source code line? then I have 2
> choices regarding this DLL:

Then it's a bad decision to use xGPL licensed source base. You should be
able to explain to your customer that he can try develop this whole
thing on his own, which would cost him Millions, or the alternative is
that to use a xGPL based code, which will save him Millions and he just
has to pay for the little part he really needs added. The advantage of
that saving is bigger than keeping that bit of code to your self I'd say
and this is only fair to the developers who gave their time (which also
costs money) and give something back. Anything else is stealing.

Sombody who want's to take the advantages of open sourced code should
consider that everybody benfefits. If nobody would have decided to do
that open source thing then he could pay and pay and pay for everything.

> 1+2+3+4=10
> Then my code will look like:
> 5+5=10
> So the code is different, but it does same thing, and I still keep my
> code closed...
> Who's loosing here? CodeWeavers. I used their code and no one got
> nothing out of this. Nada. Zilch. Zero. All their investment on that
> DLL implementation went down, they'll have hard time to re-cap this
> investment.

That's stealing. Just because it is easier then stealing an expensive
car doesn't mean that it is less illegal. And if somebody makes that
public your company is quite in trouble. The open source mind is also
based on trust and on the believe that everybody will gain in the end.
After all you also incorporate and use the things others may have payed
for on the same principle and could have kept for themself. If everybody
is stealing only then this is the death of OS.

> Lets say that CodeWeavers could drag me to court and I'll be happy to
> show the code to the Judge or any 3rd party mediator - what he'll see?
> he'll see completly 2 different implementations which give same
> results. I win the case and I can collect damages from CodeWeavers.

Not really. Depends on the guys who have to judge the code. And if the
code is only cosmetically changed then this is quite obvious to see
unless you put in quite some effort to hide it.

Your argument is also not really specific to Wine, because this is a
szenario for EVERY OS code that exists.

> So yes, CodeWeaver have their full right to move their code to LGPL or
> whatever. Is it a smart move for the Wine development move? yes. Is it
> a smart move business wide? IMHO - no, but CodeWeavers is a private
> company, and it's Jeremy full right to decide what to do with their
> code.

It is just as smart as for other OS projects.

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