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Re: Barriers to an ASP loophole closure

On Mon, Mar 10, 2003 at 03:53:31PM -0500, Jeremy Hankins wrote:
> > Free software preserves the possessor's legal liberty to change the
> > software, something that only legal limitation was previously blocking
> > him in.  But forced publication at all: how does this increase the
> > user's liberty to change the software?
> I don't understand this question.  Having access to the source is
> necessary if you want to make changes.  Examples of dentists' software
> aren't relevant (unless you're a dentist), because that'd be outside
> of the sort of use we want to pick out.

What if Google released source code?

It'd be neat, but it wouldn't let me enhance the search engine to get
better results; all I could do is run a miniature, useless search engine
on my system.  It's not enhancing my freedom to change the software at all.

This applies to most examples of things on webpages that I'd like to change.
I'd love to be able to tweak software on lots of different webpages, but in
almost every case, them releasing the source wouldn't accomplish this, since
I'd have to run a copy locally to use it, and most web apps aren't very
useful when run locally.  This applies to most software on the web.

Of course, there are cases of web apps that can be run just as well on my
local webserver, but I think they're a small minority.  (It's this group
that you're describing in your other examples, but I think it's the less
significant category.)

Glenn Maynard

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