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

On Tue, 2003-03-11 at 00:21, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> > 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?

Because someone who just gets a piece of paper is in no sense a user of
the software, while someone who uses software over the web, is.

> 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
> that?

Of the GPL as it stands?  Of course not!
Of the AGPL if *nothing* about your system were changed except the
licensing of all of the currently GPL'd software were changed to AGPL? 
I don't think so, since there's no (2)(d) code in any of that software.
But if there were (2)(d) code, ought you to be required to give these
friends copies of the source code because you're letting them run the
binaries?  In that case, I say, yes.

> > > 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.  

No, I only want *users* to be able to obtain source code to the programs
they use.  I guess my example doesn't really follow, though.

-Dave Turner                     Stalk Me: 617 441 0668

"On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters 
of principle, stand like a rock." -Thomas Jefferson

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