Re: Netscape license
Thu, 24 Nov 1994 03:10:52 +0100

> From: SMTP%"" 23-NOV-1994 19:03:47.72
> > And a lot of us believe Marc is telling the truth here,
> > but why can't the license say this ?
> >
> > 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.
> >
> > Doesn't the license state their current position better than informal
> > comments ?
> All this Netscape demonizing is getting tiresome...

Well put! It has had a whiff of sour grapes to it more
than once, and that too is very tiresome.
> The company chose to release a free browser because it's in their
> business interest to do so. I'm not privy to Marc and Jim's private
> thoughts, but according to everything I've read about them
> in the trade press, they intend to make most of their money selling
> servers. So they are highly motivated to maximize their share of the
> browser market any way that they can.
> They recently released a version on Linux, after all. Surely you don't
> think that Marc is planning to buy his Porsche with revenue from a bunch of
> cheapskates (like myself) who won't even spring for a *real* OS?

This flap over whether or not they are going to give it
away free forever is amazing considering that freeware is,
by its nature, not to be depended on 'forever.' Some freeware
lasts, is supported, and is good stuff. Other freeware dies
and replacements must be found. My personal feeling is that
one ought to pay for software. I had someone come in to my
office today and tell me that he and a friend each own a computer
and they 'share' their software. When I explained that I had no
sympathy with that approach he said he HAD to have the software
and couldn't afford to buy it. I know that there is a
responsible body of opinion out there that believes that software
should be free... I am only stating my own opinion. But I doubt
that even those who believe as a matter of philosophy that software
should be free think that stealing it is mine.

Well, I digress. People are entitled to payment for the work of
their intellect if they want payment.
> Even if Netscape were to take away the free browser and start charging for
> it, what have you lost? There are several other browsers out there, and
> you can always buy another one, use the NCSA free one, or write your own.

> Reasonable people can debate the relative merits of the various NCOM
> technical and business decisions, but it doesn't make sense to paint them
> as monopolists. Like most entrepreneurs, they're winning some and they're
> losing some. As bright as their team of people is, they're just not big
> enough to drive this market in the foreseeable future. And based on what I
> know about them, I believe they're smart enough to recognize that and act
> accordingly.
Right on.

> Cheers,
> Stefan
> --
> Stefan Sharkansky
> Prospero Systems Research, Inc.
> USMAIL 520 Frederick St. Box 19, San Francisco, CA 94117
> VOICE (415) 731-8114 FAX (415) 731-3395

Ginny Metze
speaking for herself