Usage of Open Source Licensed software as service

Chris Gehlker gehlker at
Tue Nov 13 14:42:23 UTC 2001

On 11/9/01 2:12 AM, "Ruslan" <contact at> wrote:

> Hi all!
> Can i ask respectfull subcribers of this mailing list one important for
> me(and I hope for others too), question?
> I am designing a project, which being developed and licensed under GPL, will
> offer platform for e-commerce, for using in commercial environment.
> Simply saying, it will be a software for sites with e-commerce (catalog,
> shopping cart, purchase process) capabilities.
> But being open source software by itself, installed and used on site,
> should it be open source for clients of that particular site?
> I understand what if some person will do modifications to the code, he/she
> should release these under GPL license, but if this person do not change the
> code, just use it to present services to clients on the site?
> Which problems could such commercial users run into?

The GPL is very permissive, I would say too permissive, with regard to what
end users can do with the code. Not only can they  use the code as is, they
can take it internal closed source.

If you really want commercial users give back modifications that give them a
competitive advantage, consider a modified license. Maybe mix the GPL with
the "deployment" language from the APSL.
Laws are the spider's webs which, if anything small falls into them they
ensnare it, but large things break through and escape. -Solon, statesman
(c. 638-c558 BCE)

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