GPL issue at my work place

Mahesh T. Pai paivakil at
Sat Jan 19 16:19:40 UTC 2008

Matthew Flaschen said on Fri, Jan 18, 2008 at 04:30:17PM -0500,:

> > The conclusion FSF wants
>> to arrive at is that hosting the site on the CMS amounts to
>> distribution of the CMS; but the copyright in the contents held by the
>> CMS are still owned by you.
> That's not true.  Providing a CMS SaaS platform is /not/ distribution of the 
> CMS, and is not covered by the GPL; the FSF has explicitly agreed with this. 
>  The GNU Affero GPL is an entirely different issue, and distribution 
> probably would be required under it.

Yes; thanks for pointing this out.

And on re-reading what I wrote in the immediately preceding sentence -

... (out put of a content management system, for example), is not
copyrightable, but the application itself it.

I  intended  to say  -  "output  of a  CMS  is  not  capable of  being
restricted by  the license of the  CMS"; and not that  such output "is
not copyrightable".   And the hopefully  obvious typo - the  last word
ought to be "is"; not "it".

After  rereading the stand  by Dirk's  employer's legal  department, I
suspect  that they  are failing  to  distinguish between  output of  a
program and  / or  "use of  software". The "viral"  nature of  the GPL
applies  only  to  modification   and  /  or  distribution  of  GPL'ed
software. If you  are using / writing /  creating software which works
with GPL'ed software, the GPL does not apply to your creations because
your   work  functions   and  has   existence  independent   of  GPLed
software. (hmm.. is anybody reminded of the interminable kernel module

 Mahesh T. Pai <<>>

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