[Fsfe-ie] Re: gpl and web scripting
jimregan at o2.ie
Mon Oct 27 03:34:25 CET 2003
Niall Douglas wrote:
>On 26 Oct 2003 at 12:13, David O'Callaghan wrote:
>>>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
>>I don't think the FSF would see a problem with that either. What do
>>you mean by "he couldn't give it to anyone else"?
>The FSF can't have a /legal/ problem with it because the GPL permits
>You can't distribute GPLed code without making its source available.
That's not strictly true; you can add a note offering to provide the
source for anyone who requests it.
>That includes limited releases to your friends or a beta test group
>or anything else. It would be interesting however if the diffs from
>the public version were distributed alone - while it's against the
>spirit of the GPL and likely that diffs are a legally derived work
>under copyright, I don't know of a court case proving it one way or
>another (however, IANAL).
Well, if you had a version of diff that included none of the original
work in the .diff, you might be on to something.
>>The original message said "someone downloads the code and changes it"
>>so these modifications would have to be under the GPL. If the changes
>>consisted of implementing a plug-in interface, it's possible that the
>>same person might also write a plug-in library that would not be
>>covered by the GPL.
>Precisely. If you see Linus' comments on kernel modules and the long
>debate about whether a kernel module is a derived work or not, it's
>clear that an ABI boundary is considered a derivability boundary. I
>myself feel that a GPLed DLL can be used by a commercial program
>without problem - however while this gets members of the GPL cult
>very riled, I have not met one who can point to any definitive test
>case history supporting that analysis. OTOH, I can't point to any
>either - it's yet to be decided.
I doubt it will be tested; few companies would wish to bet their
software on being proved right. Plug-ins are an unclear case; dlls in
general though, I shouldn't think so - if a program can't function
without a certain dll, I don't think any lawyer will have too much
trouble in showing that the program is a derivative work. A lot of
people try to toy with the definition of "derivative" to achieve their
goals. If a program uses a library to perform a function, it, in other
words, derives its ability to perform that function from the library,
therefore the combined whole is a derivative of the library.
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