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Re: GPL clients for non-free services

Mark Rafn said:
> On Thu, 13 Mar 2003, Steve Langasek wrote:
>> So the requirement here is that if the RPC service is part
>> of the source code, you MUST ship the server, or not ship anything at
>> all.
> Huh?  I'm missing that paragraph in my copy of GPLv2.  You can't ship
> the server and the client without providing source to the server, but
> you can ship the client by itself, even if it's not so useful without
> the server.

The paragraph above is the result of the logic:
1. linking -> combined work
2. dynamic linking -> linking
3. dynamic linking over network (RPC) -> dynamic linking
4. network service -> dynamic linking over network

"Therefore", network service -> combined work.

The GPL FAQ appears to both contradict and support point 4:
http://www.fsf.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#MereAggregation, since the
network service would probably be implemented over sockets, but is
"exchanging complex internal data structures"

> The paragraph after section 2c seems to say that if the client can
> reasonably be considered a seperate work (and almost any client can be
> IMO), the GPL only affects both sections (client and server) if they are
> distributed as part of a whole.
> Similarly, I believe it's allowed to distribute a GPL program that can
> use a GPL-incompatible library at runtime, and to use that program.  You
> just can't distribute the GPL program and the library together.

Your belief appears to differ from the FSF's interpretation of the GPL, 
according to http://www.fsf.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#LinkingWithGPL


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