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Re: lynx-dev More on lynx copyright

From: Klaus Weide
Subject: Re: lynx-dev More on lynx copyright
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 1999 04:38:37 -0500 (CDT)

On Wed, 29 Sep 1999, Doug Kaufman wrote:

> I did a bit more searching and I believe I found the files referred to
> in the WWW/Copyright.txt file in the lynx distribution. The reference
> to the "distribution conditions of WWW code" can be found at:
> "";

Fascinating historic material.  Thank you a lot for digging it up!

Man that price list is really something.

   source code of the Line-Mode browser: 50 kECU.

Very very roughly, that must be in the order of 10's of thousands of $.

On the basis of capabilities and features, on this scale Lynx would be
worth hundreds of thousands, at least.  Per source tarball.

And the list goes on like this:

   executable binary of the Editor/Browser for NeXT workstations: 50 ECU
   per workstation.

   source code of the Editor/Browser for NeXT workstations: 50 kECU per

etc. etc., source code generally a factor of 1000 more expensive than
executable binary.  A good reminder of how things were (and are, of
course, for lots of other programs).  Today if you buy lynx as part
of say a Redhat CD (even if you consider that as some form of "byying
lynx"), you pay the same for source and binary.  That's how it should
stay.  That's how it should stay also for any work based on lynx, IMO.
The GPL is a way to ensure that.  Special licensing deals (if they
were possible) would undermine that.

> This file refers to the following subsection which Klaus quotes in his
> post:
> "";
> I think that this statement should probably replace the lynx
> WWW/Copyright.txt file, which is an incomplete rendering of the
> original html page, without the key URL.

Yes, in some way.

It should be made clear that this applies to the original code, not to
everthing that's found now under WWW/ in its current form.

If you look at the documents under
<>, i.e. omit the "old/"
texts.  (That one also has a "PublicDomain/" section with one postscript
and two GIF files I didn't care to look at...)

They seem to have never quite finished the job, or if so it is not
reflected in the historic pages.

Anyway, the public statement "is hereby put into the public domain"
is rather clear, even when you take the caveat "the basic spirit is
correct, but some of the finer details may change" into account
(in .../old/Introduction.html).  What code exactly it applies to
is another question.  I assume (but don't know) that the code set
which was actually used for lynx was one that was available under
those preliminary conditions, and that therefore those conditions
(i.e. non-conditions, per "public domain") apply.


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