Tue Aug 30 17:20:58 CDT 2005
that would be entirely appropriate.
In this context, the Gpl developer could associate to the
first legal action, so that his *moral* right could be recognized
and - more importantly - the infringement proved.
But a 'pure' Gpl (not the double licensing sort) developer suing
for himself, without any actual user wronged, is not morally
acceptable in my opinion.
The usual argument about Gpl, that courts would not accept the
action because there is no material interest (money) for Linus
Torvalds, for example, in Linux, is akin to mine, but my point of
view is not legalistic.
This is not right because if he asks for money, he is doing
a pitiful mockery of the generous philosophy expressed
in the Web page I referenced.
If he asks for the society to punish the deed, a penal action
in opposition to a purely civil action, he is doing something
even more distateful. He is asking the society to consider the
infringement on his rights something so important that the
doer should be punished even in the absence of any
tangible damage for anyone. I think that he is justifying the idea
of 'intellectual property' : copyright infringement is stealing,
infringers are thieves (criminals?) (words quoted because I
refuse the idea entirely - and yes, I'm aware that Gav State
himself approves of it :-)), like the society can punish an
(old-fashioned) thief even if by mistake what he stole was
I believe that in your approach (I mean here you, Alexandre Julliard),
as in the case of the developers I quoted, I have not heard much
about users rights.
If you cared that much for users, as is implied by the Gpl license,
the work made by Codeweavers for Borland would be repellent :
yes, the code (all of it ?) has been released to Wine. But Kylix
users don't have the possibility to get the Wine source code
used; they don't have the right to get latest Wine code and
maybe fix bugs.
This is scandalous from a Gpl point of view, yet no Wine
developer has ever said anything against it.
Why what was a mere possibility before has become urgent now ?
Transgaming, of course.
Transgaming is, in your words, taking away the 'mindshare' of users
Gav replied that end-users were not harmed since they got the
source anyway, but it has not mollified you - to the contrary.
I'm sorry but this sounds rather selfish. You have entirely the right
to be selfish about your (enormous) work of course, but a proprietary
license is more logical in this case.
You want to use the Gpl as a tool, but I don't see a lot of respect
for the philosophy that is behind it.
What I find even more disturbing in what you said is the allusion
(when replying to Patrick) to a future tightening of copyright laws,
a tendency that is in my opinion directly linked to the idea of
copyright, patents, etc being 'intellectual property' assets,
and infringers thieves stealing them. You seemed to welcome
the additional protection it would give Wine.
What I hear is : more Dmitry Sklyarovs. More programmers in jail.
Is this what you want ? Are you really so eager to send legal
injunctions to people ? No one should think that in a legal action
the programmers doing the actual work will be left alone and the
'suits' will go to jail. This is not how this world works (not that I
think that the 'suits' deserve it anyway)
Don't think also that you can avoid that easily : it's said that
Adobe never intended for Dmitry to be jailed, and they backed
away as soon as it happened. But he stayed in jail nevertheless.
I believe that the freedom privation that someone sent to jail
is suffering is more grievous that the privation that an user
suffers when he has no access to the code of his application
(in most cases - there may be exceptional cases, but
certainly not *computer games*) and is not proportionate to
the deed. That's a very important reason for which I am afraid
to hear Gpl developers brag about threatenings they can make
to people 'stealing' 'their' code.
I have two more practical remarks to finish my ramblings :
1) if Wine turns into a legal machine hunting 'intellectual
property' 'thieves' (and there is *a lot* of money involved with Win32
api of course), it could get some really bad public opinion. I think
that one of the frail walls protecting Wine from legal harassement is
public opinion disliking people using lawyers instead of competition.
Be done by as you did, could say the public opinion later - when
the MS lawyers come.
2) You seem to think that Transgaming or similar companies are or
could be responsible for the low Wine mindshare among developers
I don't think this is explaining even 1% of the problem.
There are much more bigger reasons for Wine not attracting
and - more importantly - not keeping developers.
I don't think this particular discussion is important now, though.
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