Corba interfaces and GPL freedom

David Presotto presotto at
Sun Sep 14 14:06:32 UTC 2003

On Sun Sep 14 01:54:35 EDT 2003, iain at wrote:
> Here is an example of Corba 'serverizing':
> A GPL application is modified by a vendor of non-free software, who adds a
> Corba server API to the application. The vendor releases the source code to
> the GPL application and modifications per the GPL terms.
> The vendor then creates a non-free Corba client application which uses that
> API but incorporates none of the GPL code. The source code to the client
> application is not released by the vendor. Non-free applications could also
> be used as Corba servers to a GPL client application in the same manner.
> Essentially the freedom of the GPL codebase is reduced either way around.

So does that mean that any program interaction with GPL code is considered
reducing the freedom of the codebase?  Why single out CORBA?  Why not any RPC
mechanism like SOAP?  How about CGI-BINs?  Where does one draw the
incredibly fuzzy line?
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