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Re: The ASP nightmare: a description

"Joe Moore" <joemoore@iegrec.org> writes:
> Jeremy Hankins said:

>> Take this to the logical extreme where everybody starts doing this
>> and every Free program has several ASP versions, and you have the
>> ASP nightmare.
> How is this different (from a licensing perspective) from a
> publicly-accessible shell server?  Assume for a minute that all the
> GPL'd binaries on the server are chmod a-r, so no user can make a
> copy of the binaries (just to avoid the distribution issue).  This
> is exactly the line of thinking that caused problems with the LPPL
> 1.2 (where their definition of distribution included making software
> available on a shared system)

I don't know.  Is it?  Should it be?  I'm uncertain.

I think that so long as the source for these programs are generally
available there's no real problem.  The problem shows up when someone
uses this technique (which could be a web server or a shell server) to
make the programs available for use but intentionally restricts access
to source & binaries.  This hasn't happened with shell accounts (to my
knowledge, at least) and probably wont, since shell users would
generally prefer the shell to be local, creating a large hurdle for
anybody who wants to take bash "proprietary" in this way.

But should we be making decisions about DFSG freeness based on whether
the problem the licensor is worried about is a real problem?  Who
knows, they may know something we don't.

Jeremy Hankins <nowan@nowan.org>
PGP fingerprint: 748F 4D16 538E 75D6 8333  9E10 D212 B5ED 37D0 0A03

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