[Wine] CrossOver license

ryan woodsmall rwoodsmall at mac.com
Tue Nov 1 15:38:18 CDT 2011

> I have a question about CrossOver and the LGPL license. I'm looking into licensing some software of my own and I'm not sure if I can.
> From what I've read the LGPL license doesn't allow any product to be sold if it's based on LGPL protected software, unless it uses the software simply as a plug-in:  ...
> CrossOver clearly is a modification of Wine and uses ongoing code updates. How therefore can they sell it?
> The reason I ask is that the software I have written is similarly based on an LGPL base and I'm wondering if I can sell mine.

IANAL either.  You may want to consult one.

CodeWeavers releases the modified Wine sources they use as required by the LGPL:


They also provide employment to a number of key Wine developers, and have a commitment to both the mainline Wine project as well as their modified commercial distribution.  They are stewards of the project and there has so far been no conflict of interest.

The prime difference between the GPL and the LGPL is the definition of derivative work - namely, the "L" in LGPL originally stood for "library," now amended to "lesser."  With the LGPL, simply linking to an LGPL'ed library does not taint the software you've written, causing it to become LGPL as well; the GPL license is not as liberal in this regard, though there are linking exceptions in some cases.  As long as you release any modified LGPL source, you should theoretically be safe and abiding by the terms of the LGPL without license taint on your custom software. Again, IANAL.

Additionally, don't confuse Free Software licenses with being anti-capitalist or anti-commercial.  The GPL, LGPL, etc., are pro-freedom: do what you will with the software, just allow others to do the same.  The LGPL is a decent middle-ground between the extremely permissive licenses like BSD/MIT and hard-copyleft licenses like the GPL/Create Commons ShareAlike. -r

More information about the wine-users mailing list