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Re: gpl and hosted apps

On Fri, 3 Feb 2006, David M.Besonen wrote:

what ill effects would come of saying that if you host a gpl'd app
(modified or not) you have to make the source available?

Just coming up with a set of definitions to require such a thing is gonna kill you. Start with "available" and "user". Be sure to consider the cases of:

  services where bandwidth is expensive

  services that don't want hax0rs to find exploits in their hacky modifications

  services that are "used" by people off the net (ATM, coke machine, etc.)

  services where actual trade secrets are part of the modifications

  users of services they don't own (like my use of my ISP's DSL firmware)

  indirect users (I ask someone to do something on my behalf.  Who's the user?)

even more indirect users (I run software which uses software on your system which uses software on some other system. Am I a user of that other system?)

Put any proposal together, we can help decide if it's free. But you're likely to be able to tell yourself once you have some concrete terms and apply a few of Debian's standard tests (island test, dissident test).

Oh, that's handy: I just noticed Wikipedia has a brief and useful writeup for 3 common tests of DFSG freedom: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debian_Free_Software_Guidelines.
Mark Rafn    dagon@dagon.net    <http://www.dagon.net/>

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