license idea (revised)

Ryo Chijiiwa ryo at
Wed Jul 16 21:30:24 UTC 2003

On 7/16/2003, "Mark Rafn" <dagon at> wrote:

>I don't think that most agree that the requirement to give source and
>distribution rights to all users is an acceptible solution.

Perhaps my interpretation of the GPL is incorrect, but I thought that was
one of the basic requirements in that license.

>This has been discussed a bit on debian-legal, under the heading "ASP

Thanks, I'll look for that.

>One interesting question is where to draw the line between use
>and "deployment".  This e-mail was routed along a box at my ISP that
>includes open-source code.  Do I have the right to that code?

I agree that this is a grey area.  However, one difference between
web-applications and server software is the level at which users
interact with them, and who the intended users are.  Server software
like web servers and mail servers don't have interfaces for end users
because that's not the intended audience.  The intended users are
administrators, and as such, they have various mechanisms that allow for
interaction.  On the other hand, web-applications have distinct
interfaces designed specifically for end users, not just for the
administrators who install and maintain them.

>My strong recommendation:  Ignore antisocial users (whether they be
>individuals or corporations).  The community has it's own strengths, the
>vast majority of which come from freely-chosen cooperation.  Trying to
>make software less useful in order to protect your revenue or brand is

I'm not sure I agree that what I'm trying to do makes the software less
useful.  If requiring users of a modified software to have access to the
source code makes it "less useful", then the GPL itself would make
software "less useful" since it has the same requirements (again, as I
interpret it).  Of course, opponents of the GPL would probably say
that's the case, but I think that's irrelevant in this topic (because
GPL is already an OSI approved license).

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