[Fsfe-ie] Re: gpl and web scripting

Jimmy O'Regan jimregan at o2.ie
Sun Oct 26 06:26:50 CET 2003

Niall Douglas wrote:

>On 25 Oct 2003 at 18:36, Moritz Sinn wrote:
>>i've a question: lets say i write some software (e.g. with perl) that
>>works web based (all you need to use that software is a proper
>>webbrowser). now lets say i publish it under GPL. If now someone
>>downloads the code and changes it and then puts it on his webserver so
>>that everyone can use it there, does he have to publish the changes
>>under GPL? I mean, its clear that if someone changes it and then pass
>>the changed program on, he has to publish that version under GPL. but
>>if he doesn't pass it on, if he just makes it useable, but it runs on
>>his own webserver, is that the same? All he does is modifying the code
>>and running that version on his public webserver.
>>Would be nice if someone could explain me why he has to publish it
>>under GPL or why not.
>As Ciaran has said, if his derived work does not leave the server 
>then he isn't distributing it and thus doesn't need to release the 
>source. I, unlike the FSF, don't see a problem with that as he 
>couldn't give it to anyone else so there's no real risk for 
>commercial exploitation.
>If he is distributing it, he must distribute all parts of the 
>software in source form and must attach GPL license notices 
>unmodified etc etc. However, his extensions may not need to be also 
>under the GPL depending on certain factors, but whatever license he 
>does use must be compatible with GPL stipulations.
There's a license called the Affero General Public License which is 
basically the GPL with an added clause for distributed use, such as web 
scripts, which the FSF consider a free software license; as well as 
Apple's APSL. Debian, however, consider these licenses non-free, as the 
conditions are based on the use of the software, rather than redistribution.

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