External deployment / Otherwise Make Available (was Re: OVPL summary)

Alex Bligh alex at alex.org.uk
Thu Sep 15 22:21:45 UTC 2005


--On 15 September 2005 14:42 -0700 Lawrence Rosen <lrosen at rosenlaw.com> 

> Alex Bligh wrote:
> 2. Any software that the non-excluded person interacts with in an
> automatic    manner (i.e. without human intervention). This is a
> plausible definition,    but is very very wide. As you say, a modified
> OSL licensed accounts    system that happened to have a link into an
> online system, which (for    instance) let the user order things
> (involving checking credit balances)    would be covered. Perhaps after
> all, that's the right thing. If they    can see their statement on-line,
> then isn't that an ASP accounts system?
> Please don't refer to software that "happened to have a link into" another
> system. Linking is not relevant under OSL 3.0.

Ooops - I used the word "link". I did not mean that in a computer science
sense. I meant "connection". IE Software system A does something which
causes Software system B to do something. Let us assume there is NO
"linking" in a computer science sense, that the front end system is
licensed under something else, and the back-end is OSL.

> That license only demands
> reciprocity for modifications to the OSL-licensed software. See the list
> of verbs in section 1(b).
> Perhaps the fear that linking makes a difference is what concerns people
> about the External Deployment provision.

No, no, that's not it. I used a dread word, that's all - please reread
using a non-computer-science reading of the word "link" :-)

> But under OSL 3.0, even if I
> deploy an accounts system and it is considered "used" by the courts
> because of some convoluted technical evaluation, there should be no fear
> that other proprietary systems that merely link to it are similarly
> "used." The most that would have to be disclosed are the changes to the
> OSL-licensed software.

I still don't understand why a web ASP package is "used" (when it's
communicated with by a browser using HTML) but a SMTP server is
not "used" (when it's communicated with by a mail client using SMTP),
using your definition of "used".


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