For Approval: Socialtext Public License ("STPL")

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at
Wed Mar 28 06:28:38 UTC 2007

Lasse Reichstein Nielsen wrote:
> You can partition a program along any abstraction and connect the
> parts using any appropriate data transfer protocol. Focusing user
> interaction on only the user interface is probably not sufficient
> to protect anything but the user interface.

Maybe so.  IANAL, but I believe these types of issues are still very
uncertain. :)

> I guess it's the same thing as making a GPL wrapper for a proprietary
> hardware driver for use in the Linux kernel.
>>> Could I split the code in two, so that neither
>>> is complete and usable, and claim that neither is intended to interact
>>> with users through a computer network (since clearly, it's not even
>>> able to)?
>> No, because that's not as you received it.
> Not for me, but what about the next guy who receives the two parts from me?

Well, you'd have to give him the whole source (because it was real
distribution).  Then, if he "reassembled" it, it should be no problem
for him to offer the source over the network.

I think this may be idle (but somewhat interesting) discussion because
SocialText is apparently planning to resubmit (again) a modified license
without the Affero clause.

P.S. Should be interesting to see the latest GPLv3 draft tomorrow.

Matt Flaschen

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