The lowdown on Parallels & Wine

Over the past few days you may have seen a sprinkling of articles accusing Parallels of violating the GNU LGPL (Library General Public License, also known as the Lesser General Public License, which basically is the official rules for using open source code in a commercial product) of Wine, the open-source implementation of the Windows API on Unix-based OSes, like Linux, Solaris and Mac OS X.

These articles claim that Parallels has been unwilling to provide both the Wine project, and our users, with the modified Wine sources that we use, as is required by the Wine LGPL. This is simply NOT TRUE.

Here's what is true:

  1. Parallels does use a very small amount of Wine code in our 3D graphics implementation
  2. 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.
  3. 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, like improving Workstation, Desktop, and Compressor, and developing our next generation of products, including our forthcoming Parallels Server for Win/Lin/Mac.
  4. We are always happy to provide the modified sources to anyone. Want to see 'em? Email and we'll get them over to you.
We're a big proponent of open source and always have been, and would never do anything to compromise our relationship with that community. Afterall, our first product, Parallels Workstation, was specifically developed to work with open source OSes like FreeBSD, Linux and Solaris!

I won't make excuses for being slower than we would have liked on this one. What I will do, however, is say that we've learned from this experience and we'll make sure to do it better the next time around so we avoid a misunderstanding like this one.

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