Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sat 22nd Oct 2005 03:07 UTC, submitted by carbon-12
Windows After roughly 12 years of work, the Wine Project is about to take its widely used Windows translation layer to a place it has not been in all that time: beta. Wine Project leader Alexandre Julliard, who has worked on the software nearly since its beginning in 1993 and maintained it since 1994, said in an interview yesterday that the beta release is "a matter of days away." He has since updated that forecast and said it would be released on Tuesday, October 25th.
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Isn't WINE reverse engineering - hence illegal?
by on Sat 22nd Oct 2005 05:23 UTC

Member since:

Since WINE tries to implement Win32 APIs under Linux, in my opinion it is simply reverse engineering and that is a problem. Only a fews ago there was a court ruling which created problems for all reverse engineering. So far Micorsoft has not taken any action because most programs do not work under WINE. But if its quality improves and it becomes a real threat then I won't be surprised if Microsoft sues the WINE project and shuts it down.

Here is a quote from an article on NewsForge.com

"Blizzard Entertainment, maker of the popular Warcraft and Diablo videogame titles, handed opponents of reverse engineering perhaps their most potent weapon to date last month when the US 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in its case against open source software developers who had created BnetD, an application that emulated Blizzard's Battle.Net and let gamers connect with each other outside of the company's servers."

Reply Score: 2

Member since:

Three things.

1) Wine

2) Samba

3) They both have been at it for years with nary a peep from MS. A judge would rightfully ask "why did you wait so long with full knowledge"?

4) I wouldn't get too carried away with that Blizzard ruling. A lot of court cases are very specific (Intentionally so). One could argue the Think Secret/Apple case was some kind of blow against journalism if one just glanced through the case.

Reply Parent Score: 0

morgoth Member since:
2005-07-08

Not a problem. Simply move the Wine project, in it's entirety to a non DMCA complying country, like say...France. Then stick your finger up at the damn yankees and tell them to fsck off. This is why copyright, software patents, DRM and the DMCA are all BAD. Get rid of all of them and we'll have some true competition and innovation in the market.

Dave

Reply Parent Score: 2

Member since:

Or move to a country that openly supports open source, like Brazil.

Reply Parent Score: 0

Member since:

Simply move the Wine project, in it's entirety to a non DMCA complying country

The DMCA is not the problem here as it explicitly excludes from it coverage rverse engineering for the purpose of computer interoperability

Reply Parent Score: 0

zerblat Member since:
2005-07-06

Reverse engineering isn't (necessarily) illegal in the USA. What's illegal is circumventing copy prevention, which is what the court ruled that Bnetd did.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Member since:

WINE is an implementation of the Windows API on Linux. That API is a fully disclosed spec because third parties need it in order to write programs in order to run their apps on Windows. So, reverse engineering isn't an issue here from what I can tell.

As to legalities, if Microsoft were to ever go after Wine/Codeweavers, Wine/Codeweavers could easily take Microsoft to court for violation of the Sherman Antitrust act concerning "tying" (i.e. you must only use Windows OS in order to run Windows programs). But I'm no lawyer...just repeating what I read in an interview with Codeweaver's CEO.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Member since:

From the Codeweavers' Web site:
Emphasis mine...

/Quote/

Q. Can Microsoft sue CodeWeavers or its customers for copyright infringement or reverse engineering, either for Windows or its Windows applications such as Microsoft Office?

A. No. The underlying technology utilized by CodeWeavers to enable Windows software to run under Linux is an open-source technology called Wine. Wine has been developed completely independently, with no reverse engineering and no access to Microsoft source code. The Wine source tree, with a complete revision history since the inception of the project, is freely available to the public, and will substantiate the claim that Wine was created as a strictly separate entity from the Microsoft proprietary code base.

/quote/

Reply Parent Score: 1

Member since:

Quote from Codeweavers' web site:
Emphasis mine...

Q. Can Microsoft prevent CodeWeavers' customers from running Microsoft applications on Linux?

A. No. Microsoft's end-user licenses do not preclude operating their applications under other operating systems. Were Microsoft to attempt to prohibit such usage, by requiring that Microsoft products be run only on the Windows OS, they would be in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. The Sherman Act precludes making the usage of a non-monopoly product dependent on the purchase of a monopoly product. Microsoft has been convicted of monopolist practices under the Sherman Act regarding their operating systems. As a result, they cannot legally make Microsoft Office dependent on having a Windows OS license.

Okay now...everyone breathe a little easier...

Reply Parent Score: 1

Member since:

"Quote from Codeweavers' web site:
Emphasis mine...

Q. Can Microsoft prevent CodeWeavers' customers from running Microsoft applications on Linux?

A. No. Microsoft's end-user licenses do not preclude operating their applications under other operating systems"

I hope you are right. But the above is probably from before the Bnetd decision, and what can prevent Microsoft from changing their EULA to preclude other operating systems? Anti-trust law, as some have suggested? We already know how that went the last time it was used.

Reply Parent Score: 0