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Re: PHPNuke license

On Wed, 2003-03-05 at 16:38, Branden Robinson wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 05, 2003 at 01:15:16PM -0500, Simon Law wrote:
> > On Wed, Mar 05, 2003 at 12:47:59PM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> > > Why does anyone care about modified copies that don't get distributed?
> >
> > 	Oh...  Let's say you run an ASP service that uses GNU Hello
> > World to display the appropriate greeting.  Making a modification
> > without respecting all of 2(a), 2(b), and 2(c) would be in violation of
> > the GPL as it currently stands.

Actually, 2(b) specifically limits itself to distributed modifications. 

> I have heard that the ASP phenomenon is one motivation for a GNU GPL v3;
> I'd be very curious to know what changes the FSF is making to
> specifically target the ASP problem.

*fsf hat on*

The Affero license (AGPL, http://www.affero.org/oagpl.html) should give
you a good idea, although we of course intend to be more general in
GPLv3.  I think there's a comment address somewhere where you can mail
your comments about the AGPL.

The major change is section (2)(d), which says, in short, "If the
program has quine-like functionality to give you a link to the running
source code, you can't remove it."

> > 	Since the copyright holder has the exclusive right to
> > modification under U.S. copyright law,

This is technically correct -- it's just an exclusive right limited by
other factors.

> No, no, no, no, no.  There are *ALWAYS* fair use rights, which are not
> enumerated but exist neverthless.

[snip quote from 17 usc 107]

> I'd think private modifications easily fall within (1) and (4).

Note that none of the four factors are dispositive -- it's a balancing

Unfortunately, I can't find a case on private modifications either way. 
Some private copying, however, has been ruled infringing in American
Geophysical Union v. Texaco.  Certainly, in an AGPL-like case (and
imagine a similar case with a proprietary software license server), the
effect on the market factor would be very major (recall that the effect
on the market bit also includes the effect on the market for derivative
works).  So, I don't think that removing the AGPL (2)(d) code
constitutes a fair use.  

-Dave Turner
GPL Compliance Engineer
Support my work: http://svcs.affero.net/rm.php?r=novalis&p=FSF

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