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Re: lynx-dev Re: Licensing Lynx (fwd)

From: Henry Nelson
Subject: Re: lynx-dev Re: Licensing Lynx (fwd)
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 1999 20:26:29 +0900 (JST)

> Anything distributed under the GPL cannot be commercial, because the

This doesn't sound right. What is Redhat or Slackware to Linux? I've
been know to shell out hard cash for a book with a cdrom containing
nothing but GPL code. Why did I buy it when I could download it from
the Internet? Quite simply because the people who put it together did
a superior job of *writing* a manual and/or *collecting* obscure ports
of one kind or another. Just getting 200+ patches aligned so they go on
smoothly, or making a set of configuration files so I can just press ^\
and instantly be able to input multibyte characters is worth bucks.

> >   If you can construct a valid business model based on support or
> >customer loyalty, you might still be able to use Lynx.
> We would hope that our code would be good enough that it would require
> little or no support. As for relying on "customer loyalty;" a GPLed
> product must be available at no charge, so most of the users (if not

You most certainly could charge for your product. Of course ALL of the
source code would have to be freely available, including anything you
wrote for Lynx. GPL code is not for sale, quite true, but that doesn't
mean someone cannot make money off of it. If you can package it or
in some way add on value or make it indispensable so that people are
willing to pay for the _product_, you may have a marketable commodity.

> Again, we need to create commercial code, not GPLed code.
Well, if you must distribute a binary without revealing the source code,
then you will have to write the whole thing from scratch by yourself, as
you put it, "create it."

What do you think makes Lynx such a powerful application? It is the
contributions of literally hundreds of people since Lynx's conception.
That's not even taking into account the thousands of dedicated users
who have mailed in bug reports over the years. I have no intention of
selling you or anyone else my 2 or 3 lines of code in Lynx for any
amount of money. That isn't why I wrote it. If someone could buy Lynx we
really would end up with an MSIE clone.

Tough luck.


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