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Re: The Show So Far

On Tue, Mar 11, 2003 at 05:30:04PM -0800, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> If this code fragment were then added to a GPL'd program, and
> distributed, with the intention that people would run it and thus link
> it with rmi.bar.com's non-free code, in order to produce a program
> without source, then the result is that the GPL (as it stands *now*)
> is violated, just as much as if rmi.bar.com distributed an ordinary
> .so.  

The argument is that "//rmi.bar.com/Bar" is a GPL'd program, and this
java application (under whatever license; say BSD) makes use of it.

Now, it seems clear that this application is, in fact, linking to Bar.
What's not clear is distribution: it seems that Bar is never actually
being distributed to the user of this application.  Since the binary is
never distributed, the GPL's source requirements never kick in.

Hence the ASP loophole: you can take a program licensed under the GPL,
pound it into this type of interface, and you no longer have to
distribute anything at all for people to use it.  The GPL is dependent
on distribution in order for people to be able to get the source.

The "quine" requirement seems like an awful hack to fix this problem,
though, for reasons already discussed.

Glenn Maynard

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