Should Wine move to LGPL 3?

Jan Zerebecki at
Fri Jul 13 19:21:54 CDT 2007

The usual disclaimer, IANAL, yadda yadda.

On Fri, Jul 13, 2007 at 10:55:38PM +0200, Stefan Dösinger wrote:
> Hypothetial:
> Assumed ddraw.dll was signed by Microsoft. Now we have an app that checks for 
> this signature, and refuses to run otherwise. This app is not part of wine, 
> and it is not LGPLed. Now some company lures Microsoft into signing a 
> compiled, and ships a wine build which makes that picky app 
> happy. They provide the source. A user recompiles, and cannot use his own 
> build because the non LGPL app, not shipped by that company refuses because 
> of a missing signature.
> Would the company shipping the signed DLL build be in violation of the LGPL 
> v3? They do not own the key, and they do not have any influence on the third 
> party app that refuses to run.

No, I think this is (perhaps deliberately?) not included in
requiring "Installation Information":

GPLv3 "6. Conveying Non-Source Forms." contains:
G> If you convey an object code work under this section in, or
G> with, or specifically for use in, a User Product, and the
G> conveying occurs as part of a transaction in which the right of
G> possession and use of the User Product is transferred to the
G> recipient in perpetuity or for a fixed term (regardless of how
G> the transaction is characterized), the Corresponding Source
G> conveyed under this section must be accompanied by the
G> Installation Information.

This is because "object code" and "User Product" (here the third
party app.) are in your case not "part of a transaction" ("a" as
in the meaning of "one", can be derived from context), nor is the
origin the same in both transactions.

There is a twist, because our company didn't sign the
binaries in our hypothetical case, but Microsoft did. So
Microsoft would convey the object code to our company and thus
would need to obey it's licence.

Another twist is that the LGPL (both v3 and v2.1!) require that
the "combined work" "will operate properly with a modified
version". So it seems that the LGPL v2.1 would already forbid
something like this case (obviously this affects the one who
wants to combine the work, be it a user who installs the third
party application or the third party who bundles wine with their

> Scenario 2 doesn't have any technical restrictions, but Microsoft signing Wine 
> code sounds like hell freezing over. But that was said about Novell-Like 
> contracts too.

Btw. the GPL v3 does only speak about something like "technical
restriction" in:

"3. Protecting Users' Legal Rights From Anti-Circumvention Law.
No covered work shall be deemed part of an effective
technological measure under any applicable law"...

This part does not try or want to forbid copy prevention (TPM
enforced or not). The LGPL also has an exception for this
section: "You may convey a covered work [...] without being bound
by section 3 of the GNU GPL." .

The part that should prevent tivo-ization is the part about
"Installation Information" under "6. Conveying Non-Source
Forms.", which avoids to talk about something like that.

I hope nothing slipped my mind here :) ,

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