license idea (revised)

John Cowan jcowan at
Wed Jul 16 21:31:24 UTC 2003

Mark Rafn scripsit:

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

There is also the question of the line between deployment and private use.
Suppose I am a consultant of some sort and I accept people's questions
in the form of encrypted emails, which contain the question and a credit
card number.  I then research the answer (or pull it out of my butt),
charge the credit card, and reply.  I am essentially acting as a slow ASP.

Am I obliged to publish all changes that I make to any OSS which I use
in my business?  Presumably not; the right to make private changes
is protected by (AFAIK) all open-source licenses including the GPL.
Deploying software in an ASP is not IMHO essentially different; it is use,
not publication.

We call nothing profound                        jcowan at
that is not wittily expressed.                  John Cowan
        --Northrop Frye (improved)    
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