Pulling Patch

Shachar Shemesh shachar at shemesh.biz
Sun Feb 6 03:40:06 CST 2011

On 06/02/11 11:13, Damjan Jovanovic wrote:
> On Sat, Feb 5, 2011 at 5:48 PM, Shachar Shemesh <shachar at shemesh.biz 
> <mailto:shachar at shemesh.biz>> wrote:
>     On 05/02/11 00:24, James McKenzie wrote:
>         Actually, the latest patch is what I don't want reused.  And
>         no, you don't put it in the LGPL until it is committed, which
>         I don't expect AJ to do anyway.
>         However, I'm moving in a different direction since my Mac
>         needs more repairs than I'm willing to spend money on.
>         Besides, I've been a big enough pain that my existence here is
>         unwarranted and unneeded.
>     As anyone who attended the last WineConf probably already knows,
>     you have my complete sympathies in that regard. I also doubt very
>     much anyone would use your uncommitted patches against your will,
>     so in that respect, you probably have nothing to worry about.
>     That said, I believe your claim to the right to demand no use is
>     wrong. It is my understanding that by submitting your patches to
>     wine-patches, you have placed them under the LGPL, which is a
>     non-revocable license. Again, in all likely hood, this is a purely
>     hypothetical question.
> If the LGPL is non-revocable, is code you've placed under it still 
> re-licensable, by you, under another license, as long as you don't 
> revoke the LGPL in the process?
> ie. could I submit a piece of code to Wine and to another project?
First, IANAL.

You do not give up your copyright when you license code under the LGPL 
(or any other open source license). You merely provide a license (which 
is irrevocable). As such, the answer is "yes". You can license code for 
which you own the complete copyrights under as many licenses of any type 
you wish to as many recipients as you wish, even if the licenses conflict.

That said, if the copyright is only for derivative work, then you also 
need a license for the original work. The only license you have for the 
original work in the case of Wine is the LGPL, and THAT LICENSE is 
conditioned upon the fact that you license your own code under the LGPL 
only. As such, you cannot license changes to wine under another license, 
despite the fact you have the copyright for it, as that would leave you 
without the license to create your derivative work in the first place.

So the real question is how independent your code is that you wish to 
submit. As long as you do not copy code from wine, you can submit the 
same change to as many open source projects as you like (even if their 
licenses are conflicting), and even use it for a proprietary project. 
If, however, the code requires Wine code in order to make sense, then 
you are bound by the LGPL and need to only use the code in a compliant way.


Shachar Shemesh
Lingnu Open Source Consulting Ltd.

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