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Do web applications disable GPL obligations?

Dear all,
I hope this is the right list to discuss GPL related issues. (Or where would be a better place to get help with the following question?)

A friend and I have developed a web application for an online shop with some pretty advanced features that were requested by our customers. We included GPL sources into the application and for that reason distributed the application according to the same license (GPLv3).

Now one of the customers has modified large parts of our shop without mentioning the origin, the GPL license or the authors, and without publishing the modified sources. Program icons and dialog boxes where copied identically.

When we asked him to comply with the GPL he only replied that web applications are not affected, because the application is only used, but not distributed. It is true, that the application is installed on the server side, but parts of it, namely java classes, are distributed to the clients (=the shop visitors) in binary form.

We are really annoyed because we spent months fulfilling our customers' wishes at an almost negligible price (assuming that we were contributing to open source software), and now our work as well as the original authors' work is exploited to generate large turnovers.

Can you judge from this information, whether we are right or the customer who claims to have the right to publish our java classes and icons within the web application as if he owned the copyright?

M. Tyler

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