"source code" button

Marc Rauw rauw at xs4all!removethisplease.nl
Tue Mar 26 20:35:47 UTC 2002

David Johnson wrote:

> Except that, as I understand it, copyright restrictions on public
> performance do not apply to software. I already have the right to
> publicly display the program.

OK, maybe my stretching of the term 'public display' is indeed too
far-fetched (especially since it seems to have been defined in copyright law
already). Here's a version of my proposed clause that uses wording similar
to paragraph 2(d) of the AGPL:

"If the Software is intended to interact with users through a computer
network You must ensure that all users are also able to receive the complete
Source Code of the Software by means of a medium custorarily used for
software interchange, without any charge beyond the costs of data transfer,
and present a prominent notice to the users explaining this."

Contrary to the AGPL, this clause does not rely on a specific network
protocol (HTTP) for source distribution. On the other hand, the proposed
clause does imply that any web-service software licensed under this term
_must_ present a prominent notice with instructions on how to receive the
source code, whereas the AGPL only requires special measures to guarantee
source distribution if the original Software also contained such a facility.

I think the proposed clause would work well in a copyleft license structure
to enforce source code distribution for software that is used to run
web-services. But, as I said before: IANAL etc. :)

Marc Rauw.

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