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Re: The Show So Far

On Tue, Mar 11, 2003 at 12:49:19PM -0800, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> We have already said that, in the context of the GPL, static linking
> and dynamic linking both make a "single program", and anyone who
> distributes that program, in parts or as a single whole, with the
> intention of distributing that "single program", must comply with the
> GPL as to each of its parts.
> The "ASP loophole", it seems to me, is merely another technical means
> for a dynamic link, and should be subject to exactly the same
> requirements as for all other kinds of dynamic linking.


>               import java.rmi.*;
>               ...
>               // get bar from the network
>               BarInterface bar =
>                       (BarInterface)
>                       Naming.lookup("//rmi.bar.com/Bar");
>               bar.bar();

What if "rmi.bar.com" is my computer, and I'm making this interface
available over my network?  I'm not distributing Bar; I'm just answering
requests for an interface.  You don't get Bar at all.  The "linking"
concept is less clear-cut here.

Apache implements an interface for manipulating the sort order of file
indexes ("?M=A"); if I implement a program that uses that, are they linking?
Same thing; the above example just shows the real problem more directly,
using things like RPCs that have become generic enough to export
complete APIs.

(I think calling it the "ASP loophole" is a bad idea.  I'm a Linux
programmer; all I know about ASP is "some IIS parallel to PHP", so "ASP
loophole" doesn't even hint at the above.  Perhaps "RPC loophole",
or "CORBA loophole"?)

Maybe it can be tossed in as another case of linking, but the convincing
hasn't been done yet.

Glenn Maynard

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