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Re: lynx-dev Could SSL (moudlo Open=SSL) become mainstream?

From: David Woolley
Subject: Re: lynx-dev Could SSL (moudlo Open=SSL) become mainstream?
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 08:32:12 +0100 (BST)

> "Lesser" gpl?  Is that the "LGPL"?
> Please, what IS the LGPL?

The new name for the library GPL.  Very little is yet under it.   Converting
Lynx to LGPL, even if appropriate, would be as much trouble as converting
it out of GPL entirely.   Essentially Lynx violates one of the Free Software
Foundation guidelines by not having a single legal entity owning the
copyright, so licence changes involve multiple consents, and, almost 
certainly, deletion of code.

> Is COMMERCIAL software allowed to include something that's
> under an LGPL license?

Commercial software is allowed to include full GPL code, its just that
you must supply source for anything that is statically or dyanmically
linked to the GPL code, and you cannot restrict your purchasers from 
redistributing those components without paying you.  The LGPL licence
includes restrictions on patented material, so it wouldn't help here.
(Red Hat Linux is essentially commercial GPLed code - you pay for the
media, hard copy documentation, and support, not the licence to copy
and use the software.)

The issue here is that the US, unlike nearly every other country (although
the US government is trying to change this), allows patents on computer
software.  Richard Stallman, who founded the FSF, strongly disapproves
of this and had an anti-patent clause added to version 2 of the GPL.

> Also -- what are the OTHER licenses for freeware -- that do
> NOT restrict commercial software from using?

I think Debian have a list of these.  The most common is probably the
Berkeley style licence.  Converting Lynx to any of these would be a legal
nightmare because of the difficulty, and, in some cases, impossibility,
of tracing copyright owners and getting copyright clearance.  At least,
it would require the removal of all the recent gettext code.

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