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Re: web hosting providers' modified .debs




"Arnoud Engelfriet" <arnoud@engelfriet.net> wrote in message 20080128212827.GA48647@stack.nl">news:20080128212827.GA48647@stack.nl...
Florian Weimer wrote:
|   You may make, run and propagate covered works that you do not
| convey, without conditions so long as your license otherwise remains
| in force.  You may convey covered works to others for the sole purpose
| of having them make modifications exclusively for you, or provide you
| with facilities for running those works, provided that you comply with
| the terms of this License in conveying all material for which you do
| not control copyright.  Those thus making or running the covered works
| for you must do so exclusively on your behalf, under your direction
| and control, on terms that prohibit them from making any copies of
| your copyrighted material outside their relationship with you.

This was put into the license at the very last moment.  Maybe it does
not apply to the Dreamhost case, but I think it does apply to appliances
like the Tivo, and especially to customer premises equipment given to

To me the clause reads like a work-for-hire or have-made clause.
If a company needs private modifications made to a GPLv3 work, it
may need to hire a third-party programmer. Giving this programmer
the (possibly already modified) source code normally constitutes
conveyance, so the programmer would be free to publish the source
code.


It also is intended to cover giving a copy of the code to your hosting provider for them to run on your behalf (the "or provide you with facilities for running those works" part). However, that part could indeed be read in such a way as to create a loophole.

One case where this would be a bit more clear is if by default the Tivo box did not contain any GPL'ed code, but still had the key restriction thing. Once you have the device plugged in, Tivo makes an arrangement with you to run the code on the device on their behalf. That would likely be allowed under a strict interpretation.


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