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

From: Brett Glass
Subject: Re: lynx-dev Re: Licensing Lynx (fwd)
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 11:08:40 -0600

At 05:50 AM 9/28/99 -0500, Klaus Weide wrote:

>The fact that there is no single legal person that owns the copyright
>doesn't make the copyright status unclean (and neither unclear, in
>case that is what you meant to write).  All it does is make the identity
>of the owners difficult to determine.

Which is why I have posted to this list in an attempt to find all of
the authors and obtain their permission to use the code.

 > Relating
>to some code portions that were put into lynx, as best as I can determine
>from the change logs, around 3-19-94 (i.e. under the responsibility
>of the University of Kansas as the original Lynx copyright owner).
>Maybe someone should look into this and resolve the apparent

This is one of the things which is important to establishing who owns
the code, and under what license.

>Now you'd have to show how this is relevant.

It is relevant because, in general, a license which is inconsistent
or self-contradictory is invalid.

>De facto the license is not purely GPL, but GPL + Bellcore Clause
>(where "Bellcore Clause" has no practical significance for any
>realistic scenario, and applies to a small portion of code only).

This cannot be so, because Bellcore has not agreed to it.

>Anyway, you should address these questions to Michael Grobe
><address@hidden> as the file COPYHEADER advises you.  Maybe he can
>clarify the license for you.  Of course you would have already
>contacted him if you had a sincere interest.

We have sent multiple e-mails to his address, but have not yet
received a response. It is entirely possible that he is no longer
the correct contact, but if so we have not found the correct one

>I see no reason for furhter detailed responses, they have already been
>given.  Moreover, Mr Glass is already intimately familar with this
>topic and knows the answers, 

I know the answers to many of the legal questions regarding licenses.
However, I would like to secure the permission of those present,
and of the University of Kansas, to use portions of the code.
If we must rewrite parts of the code which were written by certain
authors who are ideologically opposed to commercial re-use, we will
do that.

>So tell us more about your "new program for blind users" for which
>"Lynx is currently the best available code".  What exactly is it

We seek to eliminate the many problems which blind users have in
using Lynx to "browse" the Web. Because of the way Lynx displays
data and redraws the screen, it is not optimal for the blind user.

>Tell us about your company (the "we" in your messages), your
>financing, your release schedule, how you are going to distribute and
>market it.

We're a (so far) loosely knit group of hackers in Laramie, Wyoming
who would like to help (and employ!) a blind friend and possibly others
who are blind or visually impaired. The group overlaps with two others
doing different open source-basd projects.

>Yeah, I'm sure foundations and stuff
>will go for your approach.

Actually, the organizations we've approached about this like the idea.
Their charter is to help the disabled by equipping them with necessary
technology, and while they're currently buying products such as the
"Jaws" screen reader for Windows, they don't find them to be a very good
solution for Web browsing. They'd gladly go with something better, and
we'd like to supply it if we can do it without starving.


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