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LYNX-DEV Copyrights, UKans et al.

From: Subir Grewal
Subject: LYNX-DEV Copyrights, UKans et al.
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 1997 22:32:33 -0800 (PST)

Thought I'd add my bit to this, drawing on my incomplete knowledge of
Lynx's development.  My understanding is that the early work on Lynx was
done as "work for hire" by UKans employees for the Computing Center at
Ukans.  So UKans definitely has the copyright for the early versions and I
believe that should be accurately reflected in any copyright statement we
come up with.  I believe the copyright line was changed because at this
point Lynx has much more code contributed by independent developers, which
is also, quite reasonable.  So I think the copyright statement should
reflect that UKans has the copyright for 1992-1994/5 and the amorphous
entity called "Lynx Developers group" has the copyright from then on till
the present.  Part of the reason Lynx was GPL'd is because a transition
was taking place from an institutional framework to something quite
different.  I understand the concerns over what exactly the "Lynx
Developer's group" is, but I think that the environment we're working in
is sufficiently novel for the idea of a copyright being "owned" by an
identifiable entity to be suspect, especially when we're dealing with a
project like Lynx, with the sort of collaboration it has seen.  I see no
harm in the "Lynx Developers group" holding the copyright to Lynx as it
currently stands. 

I respect Richard Stallman as much as the next guy, but on many issues he
has fixed ideas that may not apply very well to Lynx's position so I'd
suggest we take anything from that quarter with a grain of salt.  As for
the UKans relationship, I've been in touch with Michael Grobe regularly
and he's been very gentlemanly about everything.  I suggest we discuss
this issue with him as well, if possible since he would have a grasp of
the issues involved.

What I'd really like though, is Fote's comments on this whole discourse
since I believe he was one of the forces behind getting Lynx GPL'd and I
suspect this stemmed from a concern as to the future of Lynx and the Lynx
Developers group's legal standing as far as the code/documentation goes. 

address@hidden  +  Lynx 2.7  +  PGP  +
"The difference between a misfortune and a calamity?  If Gladstone fell
into the Thames, it would be a misfortune.  But if someone dragged him
out again, it would be a calamity."
                -- Benjamin Disraeli

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