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

David Turner <novalis@novalis.org> writes:

> But the Fred situation is about some hypothetical license which *isn't
> the AGPL* which wouldn't pass the Desert Island or Dissident tests
> anyway.  If Fred used some AGPL'd code, there would be a different set
> of issues.  Consider the following:

Fred's situation is about the QPL, more specifically, not about the
Affero bit, which was independently brought up on this thread

> Joe rebuilds the software to offer customers contracts over the web. 
> Now, one of his customers says, "that's really cool, I want to be able
> to do the same for my customers."  Ought that customer to be able to get
> the source code?  You say no, I say yes.  We're at impasse

Why do you say yes?  "Joe rebuilds the software to print the contracts
on pink paper.  One of his customers says 'that's really cool, I want
to do the same for my customers'."  Why should Joe be obliged to
distribute anything?

It was never required by the GPL before that users automatically get
the source to anything.  It was *never* required, and if it is, then
my Linux box, which has a few guest accounts for friends to whom I
have not provided source, is in violation.  Do you really want to say

> > A
> > good test is: is there a whole useful category of software (defined
> > functionally) that is ruled out tout court by the licensing
> > restriction?  And the answer is, yes: software which implements
> > particular legal advice.
> I don't know what "tout court" means.  But I think that if giving legal
> advice some day comes down to giving out software programs, then we
> ought to have the same freedoms wrt legal advice that we have with other
> programs.  

Absolutely!  The recipient of legal advice can share it all they
want.  The FSF has often said that software should be free in
*exactly* the way legal advice is.  Your lawyer can charge for
hand-tailored advice, but can't prevent you from telling your friends
what he told you.

But you want a new rule: if the lawyer tells you advice, then he has
to tell *everyone* what he told you.  

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