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Re: lynx-dev Licensing Lynx: Summary

From: Brett Glass
Subject: Re: lynx-dev Licensing Lynx: Summary
Date: Tue, 05 Oct 1999 14:24:12 -0600

At 02:39 PM 10/5/99 -0400, Gene Collins wrote:

Brett, in plain unvarnished language, you are full of it.  Lynx has been
under the gnu license for a long time, and I as a totally blind person
have been using lynx for just about as long.

Good for you. I'm trying to get other blind people ON the Net, and they
don't find it to be optimal -- or even practical. They get quite
discouraged, and I can understand why.

I've found the developers
of lynx to be more than responsive to my needs as a blind person.  For
you to expect that others who have written software and put it under the
gnu license to just hand it over to you for whatever kind of a fee is
totally irresponsible.

No; it's absolutely responsible. Certain large companies I might name
would just have copied it. We were actually offering programmers money
for their efforts. Horrors! What a concept!

What blind folks really need is general access
to operating systems, and the wide variety of software they run.  Other
vendors have for the most part solved those problems.

Poorly, IMHO. I've watched users struggle.

  There may be a
few blind folks out there who would make use of a special browser for
blind people, but probably not as many as you seem to think.  If you
don't believe me, go talk to the folks who wrote webspeak.

So, fine. If we don't do a good enough job, we'll fail. What skin is it
off your back? Whether we succeeded or failed, it would not hurt you --
or Lynx -- or anyone else one bit. So, the only reason to withhold the
code is spite.

The last
thing blind folks need is one more programmer or group of programmers
who think they are going to balance their check books on the backs  of
blind folks.

You apparently have bought into Richard Stallman's delusion that anyone
who programs for money expects to (or will) get rich. Well, I have
news for you: NO ONE is making much money off of accessibility software.
We'd merely like to be able to keep the gas turned on, thank you very much.

In short, the gnu license is a reality, and you'll just have to live
with it, or not.  Complaining about it on this list, or other lists
related to gnu software probably won't generate much sympathy for your

Perhaps when good software does NOT appear, people will wonder why. And
the answer will be that nobody fed the programmer.

  If you are looking for something to develope and get paid for,
I'd suggest you do a little market research on your ideas, and then find
some venture capital to back you.  If they won't, then that's the way
the world turns.

They won't -- and for good reason. No money there. You should be grateful
that we'd even try.

--Brett Glass

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