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lynx-dev Licensing Lynx -- License inconsistencies

From: Brett Glass
Subject: lynx-dev Licensing Lynx -- License inconsistencies
Date: Sun, 26 Sep 1999 10:52:45 -0600

I have explored the Lynx source code, in the hope of finding a way
of licensing it for commercial use, and have discovered some
serious inconsistencies in the licensing of various parts of the

The file named COPYING, distributed with Lynx, claims that Lynx is 
covered by the GNU General Public License, some parts of the code -- in 
particular, the code from Bellcore -- carry advertising restrictions 
which are incompatible with the GPL:

  Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this material
  for any purpose and without fee is hereby granted, provided
  that the above copyright notice and this permission notice
  appear in all copies, and that the name of Bellcore not be
  used in advertising or publicity pertaining to this
  material without the specific, prior written permission
  of an authorized representative of Bellcore.

According to the GPL, a GPLed product "may not impose any further
restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein."
In short, due to Bellcore's advertising clause, Lynx is actually
NOT LICENSEABLE under the GPL. It would be licenseable under the
"BSD" (Berkeley) license, however, because the latter license does
not prohibit the incorporation of restrictions on advertising.

Who is in charge of the Lynx project? Would he (or she) be willing
to arrange either for private licensing or licensing under the "BSD"
license (which IS compatible with the Bellcore and CERN licensing)?
Again, we'd be delighted to pay some compensation to the authors if
they want it.

--Brett Glass

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