[License-discuss] Clarity on Licensing for SaaS

Kevin P. Fleming kevin+osi at km6g.us
Fri Oct 21 15:27:59 UTC 2022

On Fri, Oct 21, 2022 at 11:08 AM Bryan Masterson
<bryanmasterson1974 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Users come to my site, which includes jQuery and the widget - both are in the browser source, and therefore have their licence data displayed, but the modules, and the OS, and the DB software are never actually distributed....
> So how do open source licences apply in this case?  Do I have to publish a list on my website of things I am using?  That could create security risks.  Or do they only apply if I sell the software to someone else to host on their site?  I have a mixture of my IP that I don't want to reveal publicly, with open source software that makes it all work.
> I haven't really found anything that clearly explains how the licencing works in this case, only when "distributing software", which to me means sharing/selling the software to someone...

For the vast majority of OSI-approved licenses, the activities you
noted above do not trigger any license obligations because you are
only using the software and not distributing it. A notable exception
is the AGPL family of licenses, which extend the 'distribution'
definition to include 'providing access to the functionality of the
software over a network' (my paraphrase, not the actual license

The likely reason that you haven't found anything which covers this is
because in 99.99% of cases there is no license impact on your usage of
the software.

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