Re: Netscape license

Paul Phillips (psphilli@sdcc8.UCSD.EDU)
Wed, 23 Nov 1994 20:37:16 +0100

On Wed, 23 Nov 1994, Rob Hartill wrote:

> Are Netscape just covering their backs or do they intend to get
> everyone addicted to Mozilla before they pull the rug from under us ?

Conspiracy theorists in every www forum have proposed this (with varying
degrees of venom involved.) It makes no sense. Representatives from
Netscape Comm., including Marc, have said repeatedly and in many
different public forums that Netscape will continue to be free to
individuals after it leaves the beta stage. Does it make good business
sense to say "Oh yeah, we were lying," and expect that to have no
adverse consequences?

> I hope they're just covering their backs. If not their plans must be
> to suffocate all the other browsers before announcing their prices; this
> could backfire.. we've all seen how quickly the masses can abandon one ship
> (NCSA Mosaic) in favour of a better AND free alternative.

This is just ludicrous. They are well aware of how fast the scenery can
change in the WWW world; many of the NCSA developers work there!

> Also, if a commercial version of Mozilla were to be released, then a lot
> beta testing by the users would go unrewarded. They would have been using
> us all as free bug finders and suggestion consultants.

That's what beta testers do. Nobody compelled anyone to beta test, and
the terms of the license were available during the beta stage.

> Comments ?

I do have a comment. I suggest that people stop attributing to malice
that which can be ascribed to typical legalese, and not theorize that
companies are intending to reverse 180 degrees from their current
position without some hard evidence. Thank you.

-Paul Phillips, who fired up Netscape for Linux yesterday and was
quite impressed.