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Re: Affero General Public License

On Wed, Feb 08, 2006 at 05:02:22PM -0500, Glenn Maynard wrote:
> A real example (from my own field) where this would cause serious practical
> problems is arcade machines.  It's clearly "public performance", and players
> in arcades really are using (and interacting with) the software directly.
> We include sources to GPL stuff on the machine's drive itself (though
> nobody cares, since none of it is modified except for the kernel, and that
> particular code is available on our webpage too).  That's for the arcade
> operator (the owner of the machine).  I have no idea how one might satisfy
> a requirement that the *users* be given GPL-like access to the source.

One way would be to supply a compactflash card slot that will burn the
sources to a 1GB compactflash card. That seems a lot less outrageous
today than it did three years ago, to my mind.

On the other hand, it still seems unreasonable to expect people to
ensure that source is accessible from every machine that lets someone
login remotely and run "ls". And given you can probably setup filters
without violating the copyright restrictions -- ie adding a proxy that
prevents you from getting to the download-source url, or putting a metal
plate over the card-writer slot -- I'm not really sure how useful these
requirements are going to be in practice anyway.

But in so far as our aim's to let people use as much software as they can,
and do as much with it as they can, I'm not convinced that requiring some
scripts to have a "cat $0" option is that big a deal either.


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