Commercial support

gslink gslink at
Mon May 9 08:42:55 CDT 2005

Andreas Mohr wrote:
> Hi,
> On Mon, May 09, 2005 at 07:19:31AM -0400, gslink wrote:
>>I wouldn't worry about anyone but Microsoft stealing Wine.  In order to 
>>develop Wine you must be an expert C++ programmer.  That requires an 
>>enormous amount of work and thieves are usually lazy.
> Maybe you wouldn't worry, but I'd bet a sizeable number of Wine programmers
> sure as hell do.
> Wine has become a very useful and big piece of software, and the bigger
> and more successful a software becomes, the more likely it gets
> misappropriated (i.e. making use of its code without giving back improvements).
> We've already had some corner cases (I won't mention names here, but many
> people probably know it anyway), and you could bet that Wine would have
> found relatively widespread abusive use if there hadn't been an LGPL change.
> And the fact that "thieves are usually lazy" is the very reason why
> people add foreign (debugged and working) code to their program...
> Adapting is often much easier than writing from scratch on your own.
> Andreas Mohr
All that you say is quite true but I still think that the main enemy of 
Wine is Microsoft.  Microsoft will eventually attempt to destroy Wine 
because only they are threatened by it.  There was an LGPL change true 
but did that change stop anyone from stealing Wine?  I seriously doubt 
it because what would happen if someone stole the library?  Wine would 
need to hunt up some rather obscure program and prove from the binary 
that Wine code was stolen.  This sort of thing is unlikely to happen 
because it requires too much education and work on the part of the 
thief.  If you don't believe me try including Wine or the library in 
another program and getting the result to work correctly.  You will have 
to figure out what the Wine code is doing first and that is hard work. 
Besides, there is no reasonable way to keep Wine from being incorporated 
in another product as long as the license is followed and who would want 
to.  If others believe theft to be a problem then I suggest looking at 
and DEALING with the recording industry.  The startup recording artist 
has the same problems as Wine and the recording industry banded together 
to be a very effective counter.  They and the film industry are the only 
ones who might be able to counter Microsoft. Wine would be well advised 
not to leave Microsoft out of their calculations because my biggest fear 
is still a suit charging Wine with stealing all the code and the idea 
from Microsoft.  In such a case merit has nothing to do with it.

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