Re: The Affero license
Anthony Towns <email@example.com> writes:
> Take, say, xine as an example. Nice free program. GPLed. Someone wants
> to add support for Quicktime to it, but wants to get royalties for
> it. The write a Quicktime to mpeg convertor, and put that up on their
> website. They require you to pay a subscription to have access to that
> service. They hack xine so that it can use the service automatically.
> You then have a new version of xine that can play Quicktimes, but users
> don't get the source to the code that plays Quicktimes.
This is a shame, and it's connected to the "why the GCC backend
shouldn't be split out" topic.
But I would not say that I have a new xine that can play Quicktimes;
I'd say that I have a xine which can play mpegs automatically fetched
from a fee-for-service web site.
I would want the Quicktime->mpeg web site to publish their code as
free software, but I don't see it as all that radically different from
the *general* fact that web sites don't publish their software. Web
sites use a gajillion things that I depend on.
For example, google doesn't publish their code, so far as I know. I
wish they would, but they don't. I want to write a comprehensive
search widget that i-searches across your entire disk and the whole
net, and the obvious backend for the web part of that search is to
hand the request to google and parse the results.