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Slash Open Source Project

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  • Should Akamai be forced to release custom changes to Apache or Linux, just because the public can hit these programs from the outside world?

    Hmm. Maybe that is a good idea. Now I know why Akamai owns all its servers...

    I'm not trying to be extraordinarily difficult, but I genuinely am puzzled. The GPL really does need to be batted around the legal system so that we have some understanding of what it really means.

    The whole idea of the GPL is to force out source code, whether we like it or not. If it doesn't force any code out at all, if we can successfully argue that it doesn't have any affect except when we'd like it to, then it's a pointless exercise.

    In other words, does the server-client model of software operation really successfully run around the distribution coverage of the GPL? Maybe so, but that means that developers will have more and more of an incentive to only embrace server-client operations, as that allows them to effectively take open-source software and modify it and then make a profit without distributing the code.

    If you want OSDN's official position on such matters, since OSDN owns the copyright, then that's another story.

    It would be interesting to know the official OSDN response.

    I want to know this because it affects my own work as much as anyone else's. Maybe it's inadvisable to be such a devil's advocate against myself, but it's an ingrained habit.

    I've heard that RMS considers it a loophole.

    Anyone know when GPL 3.0 is coming out? It could open up a giant can of worms if it asserts that server-client operations are equivalent to distribution.

    As to RDF, yes, it is code. It is an application. An XML application, to be precise. However, just like you don't need to release custom code to gcc or emacs if you use it to create a program, you don't need to release your custom code to Slash just because you distribute things produced by it. It is only Slash, and derivatives of Slash, itself that are covered under the GPL. The things you direct Slash to produce are yours.

    That makes sense, but this easy line between Slash and product reminds me eerily of the distinction between OS and browser. An RDF of Slash stories really does seem different than a text file that was edited using the GPL, but I think your argument would hold up.

    Of course, IANAL. I have thought a lot about these issues, discussed them with others who deal with them a lot, etc.

    But IANAL either. (Not that I expect lawyers to be right on this one, until there's a case history.)

    So decide for yourself (or get a good lawyer, if one can be found).

    Deciding for myself won't help me in court, if that day comes...

    Finally, I think you're probably right, even though this whole website stuff muddies the distribution/operation divide horribly.


    Deliberate with Coolness, Analyze with Criticism, Reflect with Candor.