Re: Save 15% on your bandwidth...

From: Mario Sergio Fujikawa Ferreira <>
Date: Fri, 13 Sep 1996 00:50:01 -0300 (EST)

Dear Mr. Nelson,

        First of all, I am sorry for my not so accurate information. :)
        I just re-check both microsoft and netscape sites for prompt input on the information about mirroring and re-distribution.

> No way!! You *cannot* mirror netscape software, period. The only
> possible exception is if you are a educational institution and want
> to mirror it to your students/staff, and you still need to ask them to do
> so.

        One cannot mirror netscape software unless one is a qualified and authorized education institution.
        However, it does not mean netscape is not a shareware software, yet I would not classify it as shareware as long as I cannot "freely" re-distribute it without profit purposes.

> As for Microsoft, you can distribute their software *if* you sign an
> agreement with them, in which you *must* use explorer-enhancements on
> your page *and* report to MS the number of copies you are giving away,
> among other things.

        However, Microsoft is a totally different issue. They let anybody/copy their software anywhere (it can be distributed, copied, yet not reverse engineered). It has freeware status, for true. The point they make is that one can only classify itself as an official and qualified distributor (have their customization kit) if one sign a distribution agreement. This agreement imposes that a Microsoft Explorer logo must be exposed in the company site, yet for a static logo usage one must use an enhanced feature that explorer supports, e.g., <center>, <frames>, javascript (most of the netscape tags). They suggest the usage of explorer-only enhanced, it is not an obligation. The usage of at least one active-x control enable the usage of the animated logo.

> I guess it's obvious that caching them is ok, since this is just a
> "speed-up" network "enhancement" (of course, good lawyers can make people
> believe otherwise).

        Both intelectual property and copyright are hot issues in this subject. Caching a problem is actually holding a copy on your system, for all practical purposes. As long as, the users are getting a software from your system instead of the original site, even if only by proxy caching, you are "mirroring" that information; and if you don't hold the proper permissions, you are not obeying all "laws". This is a long discussion, and I have seen it been holded at a lot places, notably search engines debate forums.

> The previously proposed method, however, is highly
> questionable; I wouldn't do it. Why not just add a special rule in squid
> so that netscape distributions get cached *much* longer? ;-)

        You can do it with ttl_patterns rules, I guess.

        Sorry if I sounded agressive, it is just too much work; just like all of us sysadmins.

  Mario Ferreira.
Received on Thu Sep 12 1996 - 20:50:08 MDT

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