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Re: Should the ASP loophole be fixed? (Re: The Affero license)

David Turner <novalis@novalis.org> writes:

> On Fri, 2003-03-07 at 14:03, Mark Rafn wrote:
> > I'd far rather live with the loophole and accept that some people will
> > make money by running a program with unpublished changes.  
> Of course, the issue is not money.  The idea is that users of a program
> ought to be able to get the source code for that program.  Users these
> days often use a program without ever having recieved a copy of it. 
> Nobody thought of this in 1991.  But times are changing.  

By your usage: Right now I'm a "user" of the code on the router
between me and you.  I also am a user of the code my bank uses to
track my balance.  I'm a "user" of the code that the US Congress uses
to track legislation for my congressman.  I'm a user of the code that
controls the lights in the Mummenschantz production I'm seeing

I think this is a crazy usage.  Nor was the GPL ever about giving the
*users* the source code!  Under the GPL I can run a system, and I am
under no obligation to make the source code available to the users as
long as I am not *distributing* the code to them, which in general, I
am not.

Indeed, *right now*, I am running such a system, and since I have not
downloaded most of the source packages, I am not providing my users
the source.

And this is just fine, and as it should be, because the GPL says that
if you *get a copy* of the program, then you have the right to the
source, not that if you *use* a program, you somehow acquire the right
to the source.


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