Re: [OFFTOPIC] Influencing Netscape License (was Re: netscape.)

Gerhard Mack (
Fri, 23 Jan 1998 12:39:49 -0800 (PST)

There is more money at stake for netscape than the browser market, the
real money in the browser wars is in the servers. Netscape needs more
people using their netscape clients, because people who buy the servers
assume that the best way to go is to buy the server from the same company
that most of their customers have clients from. It is in netscape's best
interest to stop the downward slide that their client is in even if it
means offering it for free.

On Fri, 23 Jan 1998, Noel Maddy wrote:
> Mitch Davis wrote:
> >
> > My question now is, how do we ensure that the Netscape client is
> > managed in "bazaar" fashion? (See
> >
> Well, it seems to me that a key part of it will be what the license ends
> up looking like. All we know so far is that it will be "a license which
> allows source code modification and redistribution and provides for free
> availability of source code versions, building on the heritage of the
> GNU Public License." They HAVE NOT published the license yet, and they
> HAVE NOT promised that it will be the GPL license, or even that it would
> be free the sense that the GPL license is free.
> It's pretty obvious that Netscape really wants (needs) this product
> to move into the bazaar-fashion development, so that it can continue
> to compete with MSIE. But if they mess up the license so it's still
> "their" product, and they still have development control somehow, then
> we won't reach the bazaar. On the other hand, I can see that they would
> have a strong inclination to keep at least some control of what's done
> to Netscape -- from their viewpoint, it's the name recognition that
> they're trying to maintain, and it's a bit frightening to completely
> give up control of the main product that gives that name recognition.
> Rather than crowing about the non-existent GPL-ing of the Netscape code,
> wouldn't it behoove us to let Netscape know that there *are* many people
> who would really love to work on Netscape, but that it depends on the
> license that they put on it. Let's tell them what kind of a license
> would encourage us to be involved.
> [For some ideas, check out]
> --
> "The world's biggest online database in the country."
> - Trading Times radio ad
> Noel Maddy <>

Gerhard Mack<>


As a computer I find your faith in technology amusing.