For Approval: Socialtext Public License ("STPL")

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at
Mon Mar 12 00:50:18 UTC 2007

Ken Arromdee wrote:
> On Fri, 9 Mar 2007, Matthew Flaschen wrote:
>>> But it said the "covered code" what if I want to re-purpose part of it
>>> as a non-network app..
>>> It does not make provision for a non-network app.
>> Yes, it does.  I already described this in a previous email.  It says
>> source only has to be offered to "all users interacting with the
>> Contributor Version through a computer network".  If there aren't any,
>> then no source has to be offered.
> What if you want to repurpose it in, say, code which runs at a bank and sends
> information to an ATM?  The ATM and bank computer are part of a computer
> network.  Must you provide a way to send the source to the ATM?

That's a different, but interesting issue.  IANAL, but I think arguably,
with an ATM, the user's not interacting with the "Covered Code", but
rather with the ATM software, which in turn interacts with Covered Code
(likely over a well-defined protocol that is independent of the Covered
Code).  In other words, there is a thick client in between the Covered
Code and user.  I think the clause is only intended to apply when the
user is interacting with the Covered Code over the network as directly
as possible (e.g with only a dumb client in between).  That said, I
could easily see this becoming controversial.  It would still be
possible to transmit the source to the ATM (which must have some sort of
maintenance port), but it would obviously be extremely inconvenient (and
HTTP in particular probably isn't feasible).

Matthew Flaschen

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