Clarification on my call for license change

David Elliott dfe at
Sat Feb 16 15:15:05 CST 2002

ARGH!!! Why am I sending this.. I /SHOULD/ know better than to feed a 
troll!!!!  I dunno, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em ( link 
included :-).

On 2002.02.16 04:51 Brett Glass wrote:
> At 09:02 PM 2/15/2002, David Elliott wrote:
> >Given the choice of CodeWeavers releasing no code at all, or releasing
> under the LGPL, which do you prefer?
> [SNIP]
> >The bottom line is that if the biggest contributor to the project wants
> to go LGPL then you can bet their tree will be better.
> This sounds very much as if you would like to allow CodeWeavers to
> determine the entire future of the project regardless of what anyone
> else thinks. Is this correct?
Brett, I don't have to allow them to do anything.  With your blessed BSD 
license they have every right to create an LGPL fork already.  I am only 
stating the obvious.  If CodeWeavers uses its rights under the BSD license 
to relicense under LGPL then even if no-one else developed on their LGPLed 
tree, chances are it would still work better than the BSD tree.  If the 
rest of the developers see this, my guess is they'll just start developing 
on that tree as well.  Why reinvent the wheel when LGPL is at the very 
least a reasonable license for everyone except for you.  I've said it 
before, and I'll say it again: We won't cry if you don't contribute.

> Yes, CodeWeavers has contributed quite a lot of code to WINE. But
> it is not clear that CodeWeavers, with its current business model, is
> likely to remain in business no matter what license WINE uses.
> And, ironically, there are compelling arguments that CodeWeavers is
> likely to go under faster if the (L)GPL is adopted. Why? Because the
> company will no longer be able to serve its clients' best interests.
> Instead, it will have to disclose to potential clients (at least if
> it's being honest) something like the following:
> "Because WINE is licensed under the LGPL (thanks to us), and the code
> we write for you will be licensed under the LGPL, all of your competitors
> will be able to take advantage of the code even though you're footing
> the bill for its development. We won't do anything for you that gives
> your product an exclusive feature or some other competitive edge. Good
> luck in the marketplace!"
> I do not think that this would get CodeWeavers many customers. So,
> they'll either have to lie, withhold material information (i.e., fail
> to disclose the full implications of the (L)GPL), or lose the lion's
> share of their business.
Brett, you obviously haven't read any of Jeremy's mail.  If you did you 
didn't understand it or couldn't/didn't believe it.  Jeremy has stated 
that he already requires that his contracts give any code he does back to 
Wine as if Wine were LGPL.

If this is your tired-old argument that no-one could possibly write 
non-(L)GPL software having looked at LGPL/GPL code you can go turn it 
sidewise and shove it right up your ass.  See for an 
example.  Wait.. I think that's down, try for an even better example (link found 
via Google(tm)).  You'll notice that that page contains detailed pictures 
of how this can be accomplished.

> Thus, the most likely outcome is that CodeWeavers will go belly-up.
> I hate to seem like a prophet of doom, but unless they're snatched
> up by someone like Red Hat this is the most likely prognosis. (Red
> Hat is likely to fail in the long term as well, but due to its large
> market cap it will take longer to exhaust investors' money.) No
> rocket science here -- just basic business principles.
Great, but chances are that even if CodeWeavers does go belly up by the 
end of the year they will have mostly finished Wine before doing so.

> Worse still, if it is allowed to determine the license by fiat,
> CodeWeavers will leave great damage behind. It will have irreparably
> consigned WINE to a license that will forever limit its application.
True, but CodeWeavers won't be forcing outsiders to develop on their LGPL 
fork, it's just what will logically happen.

> IMHO, this is not at all a good way to go. If one looks forward
> rather than backward, it's quite clear that WINE should remain
> under a truly free license.
Only in your mind.  Almost everyone else has expressed that they really 
don't care one way or the other.  And the number of people who would 
rather go LGPL seems to far outwheigh the few that absolutely would not 
want LGPL.

And furthermore assuming the "votes" are weighted according to 
contribution, then your vote at best has a factor of 0 and at worst has a 
negative factor because you have done nothing but waste everyone's time 
with your repeated ill-conceived arguments that have added absolutely 
nothing to the discussion.


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