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Re: The Show So Far

On Tue, Mar 11, 2003 at 10:55:44PM -0500, Glenn Maynard wrote:
> 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.

Yes, I think this is a pretty clear formulation of the ASP loophole in
terms of RPC services.  And for the reasons stated, I think the costs of
closing this hole are high enough that it should NOT be closed.

I also think that the converse situation, a GPL client using a
GPL-incompatible RPC service, is already adequately addressed by the
GPLv2 (though some here disagree that it is addressed).

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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