Re: NCSA Mosaic not freeware

lee@sq.com
Mon, 17 Apr 1995 14:22:31 -0400


Date: Mon, 17 Apr 1995 14:22:31 -0400
From: lee@sq.com
Message-Id: <9504171822.AA09327@sqrex.sq.com>
To: rhiemeir@ibr.cs.tu-bs.de, www-html@www10.w3.org
Subject: Re: NCSA Mosaic not freeware

Joerg Rhiemeier <rhiemeir@ibr.cs.tu-bs.de>
> Thomas Mohr <mohr@lts.sel.alcatel.de> wrote:
> [...]
> >This is interesting. As far as I know, NCSA does not consider
> >NCSA Mosaic code as free (they have signed a contract with
> >Spyglass).
> 
> Actually, the situation has become MUCH worse than that: Spyglass have sold
> the code to MICRO$OFT.  Guess what they'll do about NCSA Mosaic as soon as
> they have MS Mosaic out!  Currently, NCSA shells out betas for evaluation
> purposes (as Netscape does), but I assume that MS will stomp that out VERY
> quickly.

This is (fortunately) unadulterated nonsense, peppered with facts :-)
I'll let people from NCSA and W3C respond with something more formal or
more accurate, but suffice it to say:
* Spyglass has indeed licenced source of Mosaic to Microsoft.
  This does not imply a reduction in Spyglass' rights in any way.  They
  simply have one more customer, who happens to be rather large.

* NCSA continutes to work on Mosaic.  Version 2.5 has been released, and
  version 2.6 is in beta.

* NCSA have never (as far as I can tell) considered Mosaic to be free.  It
  was (and remains) freely available for non-commercial use.  NCSA used
  to licence it for commercial use, but after about ten licencees, poor
  Joseph and Larry -- and presumably others -- were getting too busy, and
  spending too much time in meetings, and arranged for Spyglass to handle
  that side of things.

* There is no evidence that the Microsoft deal with affect NCSA in any
  specific way.

> The last free version of NCSA Mosaic was 2.4, which was released before
> they sold their code to Spyglass.

* See above; this simply isn't true.

> There are some improved versions coming
> from places like Tuebingen University which are based on NCSA Mosaic 2.4,
> but I fear Micro$oft's law department will find a way to illegalize these
> versions as well.

* I can't imagine any way in which they could do that, even if they wanted to.
  Where is the business advantage for Microsoft in doing that??

Lee


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