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Re: web hosting providers' modified .debs

On Fri, Jan 25, 2008 at 08:26:19AM +1100, Ben Finney wrote:
> Here's a 2003 debian-legal discussion about the ASP loophole:
>     <URL:http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2003/03/msg00755.html>

Thanks. The distinction here is that in the classic "ASP loophole"
situation you are accessing the software through a web browser or
other intermediary means, which prevents you from getting direct
access to the executable: it is "mere interaction over a computer
network, with transfer of a copy", as GPL v.3 puts it. 

A remote shell is a different matter. This isn't just access through a
web browser; it is "direct" access to the executable in a manner not
wildly dissimilar to accessing a local file through a shell, and
indeed access in a way that will usually allow the user to create a
copy of the executable either on the remote system and/or their local

Hence the first scenario, if considered to be a problem requiring a
solution, leads to the Affero GPL. The second scenario is, I would
argue, already covered by the regular GPL.  

(Incidentally, I'm assuming that the earlier suggestion of removing
the read permissions for users wouldn't work, because they wouldn't be
able to execute the binaries without read as well as execute
privileges. Is that correct?)



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