GPLv2 'web-app loophole'

M. Drew Streib dtype at
Mon Aug 6 23:13:44 UTC 2001

On Mon, Aug 06, 2001 at 04:01:26PM -0700, Abraham Ingersoll wrote:
> In leiu of the FSF's expert advice, does anyone here have a qualified
> opinion about this 'web-app loophole' and possible remedies we should
> entertain? Specifically -- what exactly consitutes a derivative work of

SourceForge had the same questions when licensing our code.

It is our/and our lawyers' opinions that use of the program for generating
content is not a derivative work, and it actually gets somewhat dangerous
to create a license that carries restrictions on the content generated
by any derivative works.

For instance, if a bank uses gpl'd software internally for something,
and makes modifications to make it work with their internal financial
systems, should they be forced to release the code? What if that code
ends up used at an ATM? At a web site gateway'd to their data?

This is supposed to be addressed in GPLv3, but I suggest that it be
done carefully, or we'll end up in trouble on some fronts.


M. Drew Streib <dtype at> |
FSG <dtype at>    | Linux International <dtype at>
freedb <dtype at>        | SourceForge <dtype at>
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