GPLv2 'web-app loophole'

David Johnson david at
Wed Aug 8 01:15:12 UTC 2001

On Tuesday 07 August 2001 05:13 am, Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M. wrote:

> Hmm... This is an interesting argument. You seem to be saying that you
> doubt that some/all web-apps (scripts that execute on the server) load into
> an end-user's RAM?

That's part of what I'm saying. And if the web-app isn't being 
distributed/copied to the user, then the GPL cannot regulate web-apps based 
on that.

> Certainly, you do not mean to say that the GNU GPL or some other open
> source license cannot be applied to a  web-app or any software application
> running on a server because the public performance right is outside the
> scope of the license as it iscurrently drafted? If so, then I am hopeful
> that the case I cited at the outset should have some impact on your
> thinking.

My point is not whether a thing can be done, but whether it should be done at 
all. I don't believe that Open Source licenses should regulate in any way the 
actual execution of the software.

David Johnson

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