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Re: lynx-dev Licensing Lynx: Summary

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: lynx-dev Licensing Lynx: Summary
Date: Wed, 6 Oct 1999 22:35:03 -0600 (MDT)

You may indeed be capable of making improvements in Lynx that would
make it more useful for blind users.  I expect that many people are
competent to contribute to the progress of Lynx; there is no reason
why you could not be one of them.

However, if the modified version is not free software, it is not
really progress, not when we consider social effects as well as
technical ones.  It is also not a contribution to Lynx.

You have explained very clearly why it is useful for programmers to be
able to build on each other's work (and incidentally given the false
impression that this is something I would disagree with).  The GNU GPL
gives you the right to just that; it also insists that we and others
must be free in the same way to build on your work.  That appears to
be the part you do not like.

If you want to make a free improved version of Lynx for blind users,
the developers have already given you permission to do so, under the
terms of the GNU GPL.  If you don't want to do this, someone else will
do it sooner or later, and make it free software.  There is no super
rush.  Your help is welcome, but we need not feel so desperate for
your help that we would give up our freedom to get it.

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