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

David Turner <novalis@novalis.org> writes:

> 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.

Huh?  Nonsense.  You've played games with me, and I wish you
wouldn't... Indeed, you said you'd comment on the Affero bit if only I
change the thread, and you mostly ignored my most serious posts until
that thread got changed to its current title, and even then, you pay
attention to only the smallest bits, and seem not to want to
understand the basic position I'm putting forth.

Still, I'll keep trying.  "Someone who just gets a web page delivered
is in no sense a user of the software that delivers it."  Why is the
medium of delivery of the message the key factor?

What about Google?  Am I a user of google's software?  If I got the
source, how would I be able to change it and thus improve my
google-using experience?

> 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.

If all you are saying is that I should comply with the licenses of
software I copy, then of course.  If you are saying that therefore the
license is a free software license, you are blowing smoke.  

> 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.

Users?  All users?  The users of google?  ALL users?  I thought I
understood what a "user" was, but it turns out I don't.  All I can get
from your cryptic comments is that a user is someone you think should
get the source, but you can't really tell me what makes someone a

I think the word has almost no usable definition, though I'm happy to
be proved wrong.

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