For Approval: Socialtext Public License ("STPL")

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at
Fri Mar 9 13:10:53 UTC 2007

Andrew C. Oliver wrote:
> That caught my eye as well.
> I'd say it actually violates OSD#10 in that it requires the "covered
> code" to provide this functionality and is technologically dependent. 

I don't think there would be an OSD #10 problems if HTTP, and possibly
the unnecessary "You must not remove that facility from the Contributor
Version" were removed.  All network apps should be able to implement
this, even if it is just a link to a source zip.

> Larry Rosen gave a history of the clause in the previous discussion and
> it was originally prompted by click-through licenses.

Can you give us some pointers to this discussion?

  I would suggest that this is substantively similar and I question
> whether it really adds much these days.  Google/email pretty much serve
> the same purpose.

What purpose?  How does that handle private modifications in an ASP

  Moreover just requiring the license be included in distibutions with
notification of
> where/how the user can request the source code
> can serve this purpose much more fault tolerantly and securely.

No, that's not right.  They might never distribute and users wouldn't be
able to get the (potentially modified) code the server is actually
using.  The whole point of Affero (and I assume STPL) is to remedy this

  If the technical methods were used then DNS
> or other means might forward the request to a spammer who domain snipes
> and email has provisions for redelivery.

I think you may be missing the point.  See .  The reuser doesn't have to (indeed
should NOT) link to the original source.  They can use files on their
own server and whatever delivery mechanism they want, including HTTPS,
which should resolve most forgery issues.

> Moreover, the clause doesn't assist lead generation for the source
> company (assuming intent) as it requires the
> mechanism not the destination.

It's about preventing reusers from benefiting from hidden changes.  If
nothing else, the source company benefits by having the ability to
incorporate otherwise hidden modifications into their software.

Matthew Flaschen

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