[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Barriers to an ASP loophole closure

bts@alum.mit.edu (Brian T. Sniffen) writes:
> Jeremy Hankins <nowan@nowan.org> writes:

>> Is it users of programs or owners of copies of programs that should
>> have freedom?  As far as I can see the answer is clearly users.
>> Currently those two groups are roughly the same, and the second
>> group is *much* easier to draw a line around.  So we use ownership
>> of a copy to pin freedoms to.
> The two groups are vastly different.

Only when you're playing the game of trying to push the definition of
"user" as far as you can push it.  And that's a perfectly legitimate
and good thing to do when you're discussing a license text, but in
doing so you shouldn't forget that there's also an ordinary, every-day
definition that doesn't get pushed so far.

The ordinary, every-day use of the term is fuzzy, acknowledges
inconsistencies, and works anyway.  Ask the next guy you meet that
uses computers but doesn't care about licensing whether they're using
apache when they look at apache.org.  Do you honestly think he'd say
yes?  Or the NYT's typesetting software when they read the paper?

> Maybe.  I don't believe it's possible to delineate users in a way
> that doesn't discriminate strongly against fields of endeavor or
> against particular technologies.  I think your three tests summarize
> what's needed pretty well... I just don't think they're mutually
> compatible.

Maybe not, I'm not sure.  It's hard to prove a negative.

>> So we have three meta-options:
>> * Decide that freedoms *should* attach to copies rather than users
> There's something to be said for that option.  Here's a further
> extrapolation of the ASP nightmare for you: everybody who writes code
> makes it available only on their machine, in some .NET horror by which
> code is patched at runtime via RPC... so I want to set up a
> webserver.  It uses Apache.NET, Zope.NET, ZWiki.NET, Perl.NET, and
> each of these (and each Perl module and Apache module) lives on its
> own separate server.
> To what are the users of my site entitled?  My glue code?  The kernels
> of each of these servers?

Yeeks, dunno.  Probably your glue code, but once I install that myself
and use the other sites I'm using them as well (i.e., if they're under
ASP-loophole-closing licenses I get access to that code too).

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

Reply to: