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Re: gpl and hosted apps

On Fri, 3 Feb 2006 23:16:38 -0800 (PST) Mark Rafn wrote:

> On Fri, 3 Feb 2006, David M.Besonen wrote:
> > worded differently, am i the only one that sees hosting gpl'd apps
> > minus source as permissive and not in the spirit of copyleft?
> You are not.  Many, including myself, also see it as not in the spirit
> of  copyleft.

I agree that it's not good to do so often and for long times.
But I wouldn't call it a loophole: running a web application on one's
own server (or in a hosting farm) is using the application after all and
copyright does not cover use.
Thus no restrictions should be placed on that scenario.
I don't think it could be seen as distributing the application.
Not anymore than running a public Windows-based server could be seen as
distributing Microsoft Windows...

> After some effort in trying to figure out how to close the "loophole",
> however, I've come to the conclusion that this is a spirit that must
> be  socially enforced rather than required by license.

I agree.
People should be encouraged to share their code, but private
modifications should not be legally forbidden.

For instance, one could have made modifications that are not (yet)
considered tested enough to be distributable. He/She could set up
his/her own publicly accessible server to test them: forcing him/her to
distribute the source too early is non-free.

Many other examples could be made...

> Trying to enforce it legally requires limitation on what kinds of 
> modifications can be made, and/or limitations on use of software. 
> Either  of these limitations is far worse than the problem they try to
> solve, the  failure to share.


    :-(   This Universe is buggy! Where's the Creator's BTS?   ;-)
  Francesco Poli                             GnuPG Key ID = DD6DFCF4
 Key fingerprint = C979 F34B 27CE 5CD8 DC12  31B5 78F4 279B DD6D FCF4

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