Parallels accused of violating WINE license

Slashdot and other major news source reports WINE developers are claiming a violation of adopted license (LGPL) from Parallels.

It seems in fact SWsoft subsisdiary is using some parts of WINE source code, enhancing and using them inside commercial product Parallels Desktop for Mac OS X, but not distributing them back to the community, as GPL license requires.

To track down these violations and discussions WINE is having with Parallels about this topic, WINE staff is now exposing everything online with a wiki called Parallels Desktop Watch.

Despite dispute started June 1st so far WINE didn’t want to start a legal action against Parallels.

One Slashdot reader claims to be a former employee and provides his view on the topic:

As a former employee, I should say that part of the problem is developers, that choose libraries for the project without looking into the license. I didn’t work on Parallels project, so I don’t know how exactly it is there, but in our project I several time had to tell people that they can’t use some library, because it is GPL and they were like “Hmm, never thought of looking at it from this perspective”. Most of them just used to take and use whatever is available.

This is not the only licensing issue Parallels is involved in: in April 2007 exposed a silently ongoing lawsuit from Netsys GmbH, which claims rights over a large portion of Parallels Workstation code.

Update: WINE developer Stefan Dösinger just confirmed they received modified sources from Parallels, which are now available for the whole community here.

Now WINE staff is busy in the reviewing process.

Second update: While WINE developers are still in the review process, Paralells takes an official position letting its marketing manager Ben Rudolph clarifies company position:

Parallels does use a very small amount of Wine code in our 3D graphics implementation.

We compiled the modified sources, checked and double checked them for accuracy, cleared them with legal, and provided them to Wine as required. The problem that arose for some people is that we didn’t do this as fast as we should have (which, admittedly, we didn’t). I should note here that the Wine LGPL doesn’t state any timeframe for getting sources to the Wine project…only that you need to at some point.

There’s no violation of the license, no secrecy and nothing to hide…just a delay of a few days due to the fact that we’re a small company with a small engineering team that’s trying to focus on a million things…