Wine1.0 and LGPLv3?

Ian Macfarlane ian at
Wed Mar 19 09:01:54 CDT 2008

Just to resurrect this topic, as last time, of the responses to my email,
two were positive (and the other just pointed out that I'd mistaken the
Samba licensing for LGPL instead of GPL) but nothing else happened after

Seeing as Wine is officially going to be having a 1.0 in the not too distant
future, this would seem like the ideal time to introduce a license change (
e.g. Samba went to GPLv3 along with a version jump). I remember the WineConf
2007 presentation PDF from Alexandre mentioned it as a "post-1.0"
possibility - it would seem to me that 1.0 would in fact be the ideal time
to make such a change - being able to say "anything pre-1.0 is LGPLv2+ and
anything 1.0+ is LGPLv3+" is quite nice and is easy to understand.

LGPLv3 has a lot of benefits over the previous version (see my previous
email below), some of which are particularly pertinent given Microsoft's
attitude towards it (e.g. in the Novell agreement that led to a third draft
of the GPL, Wine would seem to be excluded from the patent protection
agreement - see

It would be great to have a decision made on this - personally, I can't see
any reason why LGPLv3 would be detrimental to WINE (for example, I can't see
any reason CodeWeavers would dislike any of the new provisions, which mostly
target troll companies), and numerous reasons why it would be a good thing.

Ian Macfarlane

ps: Here's the email I sent about this some time back, but with the bits
about Samba and Solaris snipped out:

On 7/13/07, Ian Macfarlane <ian at> wrote:
> I've been meaning to ask about this since (L)GPL3 was released.
> The version 3 of the (L)GPL license has numerous benefits:
> - It's much more legally sound in the rest of the world (IMO one of
> the most important factors about the new license) - numerous reasons
> for this e.g. referencing WIPO rather than US laws.
> - It has an explicit patent agreement (really an extension of the
> above - (L)GPLv2 has an implicit patent agreement, but this is only
> valid in the US) - this means that people who contribute to and/or
> distribute WINE cannot sue WINE (or WINE users) for patent
> infringement.
> - It is compatible with the Apache 2.0 license, meaning that there is
> an even bigger pool of source code to draw from.
> - It helps ensure that companies cannot prevent people from modifying
> the source code by providing them explicit legal rights to change the
> code in these circumstances, and requiring information to allow users
> to change it.
> - For LGPL only, It makes 100% sure that GPL+linking exception and
> LGPL can be combined legally in all jurisdictions by merging them
> (which is essentially the only real difference, barring slightly
> different wording in the v2.1 of LGPL vs v2. of GPL)
> - It prevents patent agreements where only some people are protected.
> - It provides a mechanism for first-time accidental violations to be
> 'cured' more easily
> - ... and lots of other minor changes to improve the validity of the
> legal status of the license.


So as you can see, (L)GPL version 3 has a lot of benefits. It also has
> broad support (excluding Linus of course, who I must point out objects
> only to a single clause in the license that can be resolved by adding
> an extra permission, as GPLv3 permits), including strong corporate
> backing (e.g. IBM, Red Hat, MySQL, Sun, even Novell). As one of the
> projects that Microsoft would most like to destroy, the added
> protections in this updated version of the license would seem even
> more valuable.
> Kind regards,
> Ian Macfarlane
> ps: As a last note to Damjan - all GPL versions have been considered
> both radical and political when they were released. In retrospect, the
> protections that they provided have been considered invaluable.
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