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Re: lynx-dev SSL lynx

From: David Woolley
Subject: Re: lynx-dev SSL lynx
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2000 08:21:04 +0100 (BST)

> There would, of course, be a statement saying where to get openSSL and SSLeay
> and the fact that it is illegal to download to countries like the US with 
> crypt
> laws.

It's never been illegal in a criminal sense to transfer crypto technology into
the USA.  For software like Lynx, it is now possible to make crypto software
legally available for download from the USA.  (One might generalise
GPL clause 7 to cover this in civil law, I suppose.)

The problem with the USA is their patent law, in combination with the
terms of the GPL.  You must specifically invoke clause 8 of the GPL.
Unfortunately I don't know whether it has ever been established whether
a creator of a derived work is able to invoke clause 8 when the original
did not invoke it, although I tend to read the wording as not permitting
the derived work author from restricting the rights given by the original
author (if you think about it, this can result in the original author
not being allowed access to modified versions of his own work).  In any
case, you must explicitly name the countries to which the clause 8 ban
applies (definitely USA, probably Canada and Japan, in this case; the
US government is trying to get the EEC to join this club as well).

Fortunately the RSA patent expires soon and the Netscape one is 
royalty free, so doesn't count for clause 7.

To be legally water tight, I think you would need all the Lynx copyright
owners to parallel licence with a not for the USA etc. licence.  Given
the confused ownership of the Lynx copyright, that could be as difficult
as coming out of the GPL altogether.

Finally, the UK does have crypto export laws; they may not enforce them
for free software, but they do exist.

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