Re: The Show So Far
On Wed, Mar 12, 2003 at 01:25:42AM -0800, Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> There are clearly about six different "ASP loopholes" confusing this
> discussion. :) I propose from now on that people stop saying "the ASP
> loophole" as if there were only one. David Turner contends that the
> real problem is web-only applications, I assumed you meant "GPL'd
> client, proprietary web app", and actually you mean "GPL'd web app,
> proprietary client".
> But I'm not sure I understand even now the specific case you are
> speaking of. Still, I think there is a good rule here:
Well, I'll call the one I described the "RPC loophole", unless someone
comes up with something better.
Take any library; convert it to an RPC interface, where instead of linking
directly to the library, you make requests over a network, and all of the
code is executed entirely on the remote system. Only the (eg.) function
parameters and return values go over the network.
So, someone does this to a GPL library, which was intended by the author
to have source be available to anyone using it. However, now you're linking
against it without actually having been given a copy at all; just a reference
to some generic interface, and a URL to the running implementation. Since
you never got a copy, nobody has any obligation to provide you with source.