GPLv2 'web-app loophole'

John Cowan cowan at
Fri Aug 10 01:41:34 UTC 2001

Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M. scripsit:

> 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?

Clearly not.  To take a technically equivalent example: when I send you
this email, I interact with a mail server, and so do you when you receive
it.  In neither case does a copy of the mail server, or any derivative
work, pass into either your system or mine.

> Of course, the person who posted the question was also
> referring to the alleged initial impermissible copy by the user who
> downloaded (copied) the script and uploaded (copied) it to his/her server.

Not clear.  The GPL clause 2b speaks of publishing or distributing the
modified work: arguably, to copy a program from one system you control
to another is neither publishing nor distributing, even though it is copying.

John Cowan                                   cowan at
One art/there is/no less/no more/All things/to do/with sparks/galore
	--Douglas Hofstadter

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