Clarification on my call for license change

David Elliott dfe at
Sat Feb 16 17:06:09 CST 2002

On 2002.02.16 10:50 Roger Fujii wrote:
> Aric Stewart <aric at> wrote:
> > The simple of it is.. you, Patrik, would not buy a Wine distribution
> > form us. Why would you? You are a developer, and a wine developer on
> top of that.
> What seems to be the most commercially successful mode on top of
> opensource
> is to have an opensource base and have a value-add component - but I have
> yet to see a successful mode that has no propriatary component.
At the moment, this is true.  Most of the open source companies have at 
least some proprietary software built on top of an open source foundation.

Right now the market for open source software is small.  Most of the 
people who know about open source software aren't willing to pay for 
support because they can just support themselves.  If/when open source has 
more market share selling open source software with your only value-add 
being product support may become much more viable.  I think that in fact 
it will become much more viable.  The key is that in order to make this 
model work you need to be selling to a market that is unable or unwilling 
to provide their own support.  As mentioned before, Red Hat may not be 
doing great, but if you take into account that they have a very small 
viable market (that is, the people actually willing to pay for support) 
then they are doing pretty damn well.

> > It is these sorts of people and companies that we want to target. And
> > financially Patrik's money for his license or even the money form all
> > the wine developers would be nearly insignificant compared to a 100+
> > seat site license.
> uh, how can you sell a N-seat site license with something that is covered
> by *GPL (since this would be a violation of the license)?  If your model
> is to sell by seat, I would like you see the reasoning between the
> difference
> of a 10 seat license and a 100 seat license with the *GPL.
If you are selling support then you can most definitely sell per-seat.  
You cannot expect to sell a free product without some sort of value 
added.  That value can be a proprietary component or can be support for 
free components or can be other stuff that no-one as yet thought of.  If 
your business model is to sell only what your customers can get for free 
then you are really, really, really, stupid.

> > As a developer who has worked on far too many proprietary Wine trees
> and
> > seen all the fights the Jeremy has gone through. I want to be assured
> that
> > i can give my code back to the wine community.
> As I said before, if a copyleft is all that is needed, choose a copyleft
> that makes SENSE.  LGPL may be convienient, but I have seen no rational
> argument in having the *GPL's brand of copyleft (other than it's widely
> used).  I think the mozilla project would be a good place to look...
This is a very valid argument.  Although realize that they are now 
MPL/LGPL/GPL triple licensed.  And the only reason I could see for having 
the MPL in there was so Netscape can take the code and release 
closed-source versions.  This doesn't really work well for Wine as the 
codebase is not owned by a single entity.

If you have a copyleft license that you feel would make more sense for 
Wine than the LGPL, please discuss it with us.


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