Clarification on my call for license change

Roger Fujii rmf at
Sat Feb 16 17:58:33 CST 2002

David Elliott <dfe at> wrote:
> >  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.
> 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.

don't know about that.  Considering their cost of goods conceptually is
zero...  As for support, I don't see it ever being a panacea for the
industry.  Various models for support have already been tried by
commerical companies with varying levels of success.  However, there's
a really bad side to this model, as it puts the economic incentive on
generating support calls - which means that there is LESS incentive for
fixing bugs (even in site support, you're less apt to buy it if the 
program is trouble free).  

> > > 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.  

If that what they are doing (Selling a support contract for N seats).  Hard
to tell by the wording.

> 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.

no argument here. 
> > 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.

maybe so, but I think that LGPL/GPL was ADDED because mozilla touched
too many things under those licenses.  MPL has a 1 year grace period,
plus its copyleft is not nearly as viral.   I'm not saying it's perfect,
but is a good place to start. 

> This doesn't really work well for Wine as the codebase is not owned\
> by a single entity.

well, that benefit wouldn't be realized, but there is more to the license.
> If you have a copyleft license that you feel would make more sense for 
> Wine than the LGPL, please discuss it with us.

There's a gazillion licenses.   Haven't seen any concensus on what
the license should have (just what it SHOULDN'T have).   Would think
anything FSF considers a weak copyleft would be something to look at IF 
you want a copyleft.  Wonder if Gav has any opinions on a copyleft license...



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