Netscape turns to Debian for Licensing Guidance!

March 6th, 1998

When Netscape decided to make their client software free, they used the Debian Free Software Guidelines for a guide on how to write their license. You can find the draft Netscape license at This is a historic day for us, since it means that Netscape will eventually be in the main part of Debian and all Linux systems, not the non-free section any longer!

A link to a press release (containing a quote of yours truly) can be found at the bottom of that page. The Debian Social Contract and licensing guidelines are at A web page on the Open Source promotional program for free software can be found at

There is work yet to be done — a few license bug-lets will be resolved within the next few days, and once the source code is released there are some parts that Netscape does not own that will probably have to be replaced with free software.