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

From: David Woolley
Subject: Re: lynx-dev Re: Licensing Lynx (fwd)
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 1999 08:16:07 +0100 (BST)

> Worse still, the license under which Lynx is CLAIMED to be distributed
> cannot be applied to several parts of it. So, one might say, it is
> "out of control" -- there IS no license, really.

You are using a recent standard attack on the GPL here, and this discussion
would better be continued on gnu.misc.discuss.

Incidentally, the implication of no licence would still be the same for
you, as the default for no licence is that no-one can copy it to use it.

It wouldn't surprise me if the courts would consider the spirit behind
the licences, and might particularly note that the advertising clause
has now been removed from the Berkeley license, the model for most of
the other ones.  However, even if it did go to court and the decision
went against the licence mixing, clause 9 of the GPL allows the FSF
to issue a revised version, and have that apply to existing code; I
think it likely they would do in the light of such a court decision.

Generally this line of argument will just aggravate people and make them
less likely to cooperate with you.
> To apply the word "commercial" to code which is GPLed is, alas,
> an oxymoron.
> Anything distributed under the GPL cannot be commercial, because the
> entity that distributes it cannot license the code itself; it does not
> own it. It can only create copies of the code.

My local computer store distributes Windows 98, but doesn't own it.

> >As I said before, commercial versions can exist, but there is no legal
> >barrier to competition using the same source code.
> We would need to produce a true commercial version, which is to say
> that we'd need to have exclusive rights to some of the code. Otherwise,
> we could not recover our development costs.

I think you are flogging a dead horse in that case.

> Again, we need to create commercial code, not GPLed code.

Generally when people create things under the GPL they don't necessarily
fully understand the consequences of what they are doing, but it is a
reasonable assumption that many of them don't want to have the code 
commercially exploited in your way, and in some cases, they may only 
have obtained copyright clearances from their employers on that basis.

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