For Approval: Generic Attribution Provision

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at
Sat Dec 2 01:15:02 UTC 2006

Michael Tiemann wrote:

> But through it all I don't need the need or
> the benefit to confound proprietary control and open source licensing or
> to claim that open source licensing is now irrelevant because ASPs can
> offer software as a service.

To me the issue is not that copyright owners don't have control over
sites hosting their service.  As you note, open source inherently means
giving up that control.
> Here's the nature of the game as I see it:
> Company A develops a hosted application B and offers it under license C.
> If license C is truly an open source license, then hosting provider D
> can freely download it, run it, and encourage customers to use their
> service.

Okay, but what if hosting provider F wants to use D's implementation,
which may be different from the original B.  Should they (and anyone
else) be able to get D's source if they use the D service?  This is a
difficult question, but I currently feel that a license should be able
to mandate this kind of source availability; otherwise, downstream users
don't have the ability to modify the software they're using.  This is
obviously a separate issue from the Attribution Provision.

Matthew Flaschen

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