License change vote results

Patrik Stridvall ps at
Tue Feb 19 07:37:40 CST 2002

> Here is the summary of the votes I received in answer to the request
> to switch to a copyleft-style license:
>                           Agree        Disagree        Indifferent
> All votes:               76 (70%)       15 (14%)        17 (16%)
> Contributors:            39 (66%)        7 (12%)        13 (22%)
> Contrib. weighted:       59 (64%)       13 (14%)        20 (22%)
> The first line counts all the votes I received. The second line counts
> the votes of all people/companies who contributed some code to the
> project. The last line counts all contributors again but with each
> being given 1, 2, or 3 votes depending on the importance of his
> contributions (this evaluation is obviously a bit subjective, but I
> think the overall trend is clear).

Intresting to note is that contributors that disagree are on average
ranked higher (almost 2) but the contributors that agree are ranked
lower (about 1.5).

This means that people that has more effort to protect
are less willing to do so. Very intresting.

The only reasonably conclusion for this that I can think of is that
people with more to protect have thought more on the drawbacks on
copyleft licenses (especially the LGPL) than people with less to protect.
> The obvious result of this vote is that my previous conclusion was
> wrong: there is clearly widespread support in the community for a
> copyleft-style license. 

For some copyleft-style license perhaps. I'm not entirely against
copyleft-style licenses either even if I voted disagree.

However don't be so sure that all that voted for it really wants
a license like the LGPL that prevent (at least according to your
interpretation) using for example proprietary libraries to
implement some functionalility. Or for that matter prevents
Transgaming to add copy protection that they can't release
openly because of a NDA.

Calling proprietary libraries is something that I have been
trying to explain is not just something "evil" companies out
to earn a profit do, but also quite reasonably people just
trying to help themselves or some friends to run applications
under Wine. Is it really morally or ethically right to prevent

I also asked how that is compatible with freedom 3
of the Free Software defintion:
"The freedom to improve the program, and release your
improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits."

> With 2 out of 3 contributors in favor of the
> switch, and less than 15% opposed to it, it's clear that we are going
> to proceed with the change.
> We now have to decide the implementation details, like the exact
> license used, whether to require copyright assignments, etc.  

I think the first thing me need to do is to properly discuss
what we want to accieve with the license and even more
importantly what we think is acceptable to sacrifice.

Then we must vote on what is important to prevent and
what is important to avoid preventing.

Especially we must vote on for example whether
preventing Transgamings business model is
reasonable and similar specific cases.

After we have done that we can see if any existing license
fits something that the majority agrees on or whether it
is appropriete design a license of our own that does.

I'm not at all sure that the LGPL is a good alternative
at least not without properly clarify what paragraph 2d
means as well as making certain that the majority of 
contributors really wants a license that means whatever
paragraph 2d means.

Another thing. It is not nessary to have the whole of wine
under the same license. For example the header files 
(wine/include/*.h) might be appropriate to have under the
current license or even under public domain to facillitate
sharing with other projects.

> My
> suggestion is that we create a separate mailing list to discuss that,
> to avoid drowning wine-devel under yet another license flame war.

Agreed. I have subscribed to it and are ready to continue the debate

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