Clarification on my call for license change

Patrik Stridvall ps at
Mon Feb 18 13:55:55 CST 2002

> At 08:58 PM 2/15/02 +0100, Patrik Stridvall wrote:
> >Just because you might possibly be right as far as CodeWeavers
> >are concern doesn't nessarily mean that it is good for Wine.
> >
> >
> >Yes and it makes sense that you do because increasing
> >the amount of freely available Wine code can only benifit
> >you, since you can use it in other projects for other
> >customers.
> Patrik, doesn't this also benefit WINE? If we increase the 
> amount of freely 
> available WINE code this is certainly good isn't it?
> So there is also a strong argument in favor of the xGPL in your post.

If the code is under the LGPL it is not freely available in the
same meaning as if it was freely available under BSD.

For the end user it is true that it doesn't matter at least not
short term. However in the long term if set of viable business
models to cover the cost of producing new code are less, less
code is likely to be produce.

Of course this is not quite that simple because the LGPL forces
companies that would have produced the improvement anyway to
release it when they would have held on to it for competive
advantage or whatever just in case.

This amount of code coming from this group is almost impossible
to measure how large it is, especially since there are ways to
circumvent the LGPL if the need for competetive advantage or whatever
is large enough. And no I'm not primary talking about interpreting
paragraph 2d of the LGPL in clever ways. That is one way if course
but it is probably to legally risky for most companies.

You can for exampel build a layer between the application and Wine.
Let say Windows API function Foo is not properly implemented.

The you do:

		/* Implement flags not supported by Wine */		
      } else {
		return Foo(flags); /* Call Wine */

With some clever macros and/or inline functions you can
transpartantly hide the existance of this layer for
the application.

This quite obviously do not violate the LGPL.
Especially not paragraph 2d.

So the LGPL will not force the, in the future,
hopefully largest group of companies that uses Wine
to release anything they would prefer not to release.

The things that they don't care about they would
anyway even under the current license to save
money avoiding the work to maintain it.

So frankly I can't really see the great advantages on the LGPL.
I can see the drawbacks that I have meantioned before that
people just seem to ignore. 

In short:
With the good comes that bad (as always) and
futhermore the good might be less than you expect.

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