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Re: Ghostscript licensing changed to AGPL



Jonas Smedegaard <dr@jones.dk> writes:

> So if Debian provides, say, a web frontend to Ghostscript, then with 
> AGPL Ghostscript running that web frontend as a service for others only 
> require an interface serving its sources if the _webmaster_ changes the 
> code for that frontend?

> Not if Debian makes changes to both the frontend and AGPL Ghostscript?

> That seems like a loophole to me: If Google wants an advantage by 
> running better-than-ghostscript.google.com PDF convertor, they can 
> simply let another company/organisation/person be the "Debian" in their 
> chain and not need to reveal their patches to their users.

> What did I miss?

Debian is providing the sources (via ftp.us.debian.org), and hence
satisfying the AGPL to the extent that those sources qualify.  The
webmaster may need to explicitly include that link somewhere to meet the
"prominently offer" requirement, but they don't need to host the source
themselves unless they have local modifications.

That said, I'm one of the people who feels like the "prominently offer"
requirement is the modern version of the BSD advertising clause, and is
problematic for all of the same reasons that the BSD advertising clause
is.  It's ironic that the FSF would choose to reintroduce exactly the
problem that they correctly identified many years ago.

-- 
Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>


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