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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Renting GPL software

From: MJ Ray
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Renting GPL software
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2008 13:51:57 +0000
User-agent: Heirloom mailx 12.2 01/07/07

"Jon Grant" <address@hidden> wrote:
> If i go into a web-cafe and go online and use Firefox on KDE desktop
> is anyone obliged to offer me the source code? [...]

No, but I think they are obliged to let you see the copyright holders'
attributions (Help: About... in Firefox IIRC, probably similar in KDE)
so you can probably note that, then find them and get the source
directly in those cases.  (But remember that Firefox isn't 100% free
software, which is why at least one of the Iceweasels exists.)

I suspect I see where this is heading: the absurdity of the AGPLv3 and
how one type of software as a service is discriminated against in the
mistaken belief that one can "ensure cooperation" with copyright
(sorry if that's a repeat) but other services are left unchanged from
the GPL view.  I disagree with AGPLv3 and I'm unhappy with GPLv3 as a
consequence, but that discussion has happened on address@hidden
so I'll just point to it:-
(The archive has some thread breaks, too.) I don't know whether Sam
Liddicott has answers to the collated questions mentioned there yet.

Support and hosting are more appropriate ways to make money from GPL'd
free software than trying to rent it out, in my opinion.  Renting
comes with an implied threat of eviction if the renter stop paying.  I
guess "lock out" threats are better than "lock in" ones, but both make
me a bit uneasy.

MJ Ray http://mjr.towers.org.uk/email.html tel:+44-844-4437-237 -
Webmaster-developer, statistician, sysadmin, online shop builder,
consumer and workers co-operative member http://www.ttllp.co.uk/ -
Writing on koha, debian, sat TV, Kewstoke http://mjr.towers.org.uk/

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