Re: Netscape license

Rob Hartill (
Wed, 23 Nov 1994 21:22:03 +0100

Paul Phillips wrote..
> 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?

And a lot of us believe Marc is telling the truth here,
but why can't the license say this ?

The license has more legal value than any denials or guarantees
in newsgroups or mailing lists.

Who knows where Marc will be working 6 months or a year from now.

> > 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!

but their license does give them this option, which is potentially bad
news for anyone wanting to use it for free in the longterm. Why not
remove this worry altogether by rewording the license.

> > 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.

Doesn't the license state their current position better than informal
comments ?


Robert Hartill                 
Los Alamos National Laboratory                    Phone: (505) 665 2280
Theoretical Division, T-8, MS B285                  Fax: (505) 667 5585
P.O. Box 1663
Los Alamos, NM 87545, U.S.A.