Jeremy White in a post to the wine-devel list: "Some recent events have occurred that have made me change my opinion
about a Wine license change.
During my involvement in the Wine project, I have always striven to
make sure that I, and my company, did what was best for the Wine
project. I believe Wine's success will help to make the world a
better place. To that end, often through difficult personal
negotiations, I have always insured that all of my contracts require
that all code changes be returned to Wine. This, in effect, treats
Wine as an LGPL product."
You can argue that the flexibility granted by the Wine license has meant that I received some business I would not otherwise have had. Gav, for example, has pointed out that Corel would never have worked on Wine if not for its license. There are two ironies there - first, Corel has always been a great Wine citizen, IMO, never 'abusing' the license. Second, while we did work with Corel to help them with Wine, we never signed a contract with them. Their lawyers and I were never able to agree on a contract that we thought would sufficiently protect Wine. Fortunately for me, we were able to work with Corel without a contract, but this issue to this day creates unnecessary friction between my company and Corel. However, with some recent events I cannot disclose, it is clear to me that the opportunity for Wine to be used in a proprietary product is too tempting and has caused some harm to the Wine project. Based on experience, I feel strongly that the potential for harm is great enough that CodeWeavers needs to take two actions. First, we would like to release all new code we develop under an LGPL style license. Second, I would like to open another call for a license change and thereby strongly add my voice to Alexandre's. Thus, I would like to call for a change in the Wine license. I think we all agreed that the LGPL formed the basis for a good 'alternate' license strategy. Eben Moglen, the counsel for the FSF, has kindly offered to help review licensing strategies for Wine. The goal is to attempt to secure some form of Copyleft protection for Wine while still permitting proprietary software to link and bind with Wine. I think it it is great that we have, in Eben, not only the leading legal scholar on free software licensing, but a great hacker to boot. I think he will clarify exactly what is possible and what is not possible with GPL style licenses and insure that the license we choose will meet our goals. When Alexandre last brought up this issue, he was very disappointed. He felt that there was not enough support from the 'silent majority' of Wine developers for a license change. His overriding lament to me was 'No one cares'. He further felt that since a small number of major Wine contributors objected, that it was not appropriate to change the license. I would like to ask for a more formal process. I would like each and every contributor to Wine to send Alexandre a private email with an 'Agree' or 'Disagree' opinion, so that he can more truly assess what the contributors to Wine really want. The specific question I wish to pose is as follows: Should the Wine project switch to a license which has as its goal to attempt to secure some form of Copyleft protection for Wine while still permitting proprietary software to link and bind with Wine? Please privately let Alexandre (firstname.lastname@example.org) know what you think, and then publicly respond to this thread as you feel appropriate. Finally, in closing, I wanted to summarize our position. We plan to release our future work under an xGPL style license, and we would like the rest of the Wine community to join us. If the bulk of the community wants to stick with the current license, then we will probably end up making a separate CVS development tree. Anyone would be free to use our work from that tree, under the xGPL-style license terms the FSF's lawyers recommend. Thanks, Jeremy