OSD modification regarding what license can require of user

Ean Schuessler ean at brainfood.com
Mon Mar 18 17:14:14 UTC 2002

On Fri, 2002-03-15 at 18:53, Lawrence E. Rosen wrote:
> My concern is only with the interaction of that requirement with Bruce
> Perens' proposed OSD change.  How are we to decide, a priori, whether a
> license condition imposed upon a licensee is  reasonable or burdensome?
> Is it reasonable or burdensome, as you proposed, to require users who
> are ASPs to release their versions with a "download server source"
> button prominently located on pages every user sees?  All pages?  What
> are permissible requirements without exceeding the bounds of good taste?

I agree. Licenses should address legal events such as distribution. When
they impose structural requirements on the code or the interface is when
they can become awkward or simply absurd. The RPC point is certainly
valid. What if someone wants to use the Slashdot source and to provide a
service that distributes RSS news feeds as the result of SOAP requests? 
What if you want to aggregate several GPL web services into a new single
service. Does it have multiple view source buttons? What if you want to
distribute that service to a device with limited screen real-estate,
like a cell phone? It seems too easy to find problems with this solution
and the real world is a lot more creative than I am.

What if you simply added a requirement that:

http://[service host name]:80/gnu-sources

Must always either supply the sources or a redirect to the sources? 
This rule could even apply for internal distribution (ie. services only
available to AOL users). That would seem to take care of the problem
without placing potentially unfulfillable constraints on the user

Ean Schuessler                                      ean at brainfood.com
Brainfood, Inc.                              http://www.brainfood.com
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