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Re: GPLv3 2(d) (was Re: PHPNuke license)

Henning Makholm <henning@makholm.net> writes:
> Scripsit Jeremy Hankins <nowan@nowan.org>

>> It definitely does seem to me that if this can be done via a public
>> performance restriction that would be much better.
> A public-performance restriction will still be non-free in my eyes,
> but it will not be quite as bad as a modification restriction.
> Assuming that one can meaningfully compare badness beyond the
> "non-free" label, that is. 

I'm undecided on that point, myself.  A lot of people are concerned
that this is a serious loophole -- that "web services" will get bigger
and more common to the point where software is no longer distributed
at all, just used over the network.  It seems reasonable to me to ask
what relevance the GPL (and Free Software generally) would have in
such a world.

But we can't fend off all possible scenarios, and I'm not convinced
that this web services world is really what's going to happen.
Certainly not in the extreme form where everything's done on the web
and software never gets distributed.  But even less extreme cases
could be a concern for Free Software.

I think I'd be happier if the GPL didn't (yet?) incorporate such
protection, because the (real and present) harm outweighs the (chance
of) benefit.  But we're bound to see licenses that incorporate this
sort of protection.  It would be good if there were a DFSG free way to
satisfy such folks.

Jeremy Hankins <nowan@nowan.org>
PGP fingerprint: 748F 4D16 538E 75D6 8333  9E10 D212 B5ED 37D0 0A03

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