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Re: APSL 2.0

On Thu, 2003-08-07 at 22:51, MJ Ray wrote:
> Adam Warner <lists@consulting.net.nz> wrote:
> > Here's a mere consequence: If Debian is persuaded that the APSL 2.0 is
> > DFSG-free then a subsequent revision of the GPL with the addition of a
> > viral electronic service clause would also be DFSG-free.
> It is expected that GPL-3 will contain something similar to the Affero GPL
> requirement for remote services to offer users the code.  Do you object
> to that?  If so, why?  If you are offering interaction with the code
> via some sort of remote procedure call, you are not using it privately
> for your own ends and some of the users may want to adapt the software,
> which is a freedom normally offered by free software.

I am not prepared to answer these questions at this time. If I had to
make a snap decision it would be for the status quo that licensing
obligations apply upon source code distribution.

The issue at hand is the superset that the Free Software Foundation has
now declared to be a Free Software licence:

"(b) to use Covered Code, alone or as part of a Larger Work, in any way
to provide a service, including but not limited to delivery of content,
through electronic communication with a client other than You."

As I noted in my previous message, client appears to be a different
individual or legal entity, not a different computer program.

This appears to be a very broad ("in any way") test for a requirement to
provide source code when electronically communicating with a client ("in
any way to provide a service, including but not limited to delivery of
content"). As I wrote, "If the Google's of this world used code under
such a licence they would have to make their source code available to me
after I performed a search query and was delivered some content." This
appears to be a reasonable application of the paragraph even though it
would have extraordinary consequences.

It's up to Debian developers to decide. I've finished highlighting what
I consider important. I wasn't even going to raise the issue until Jens
Schmalzing forced it by inquiring about packaging some APSL software [of
course there's always non-free, and I agree with the Debian Social
Contract that "although non-free software isn't a part of Debian, we
support its use, and we provide infrastructure (such as our bug-tracking
system and mailing lists) for non-free software packages." I don't
believe there is stigma attached to packaging software classified as
non-free and in many cases it is just as accessible to Debian users.]

> I think you are unwise to throw words like "leeches" and "viral" around
> so freely.  That sort of thing spoiled an otherwise interesting email
> for me.

That's a pity.


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