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Re: When is a GPL program which runs in a web site 'conveyed'?

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: When is a GPL program which runs in a web site 'conveyed'?
Date: Fri, 04 Jul 2008 14:42:49 +0200

David Kastrup wrote:
> Tim Smith <> writes:
> > In article <85od5fg7vq.fsf@lola.goethe.zz>, David Kastrup <>
> > wrote:
> >> Forget it, Hyman.  You've thrown Terekhov into quote mode.  He'll just
> >> respond by citing increasingly erratically selected texts at you,
> >> followed by "LOL" and similar pieces of wisdom.  It's his standard way
> >> of being out of wits.  Somewhat annoying, but what do you expect?
> >
> > He's quoting a post of mine on Slashdot.  Could you be so kind as to
> > tell me where you think I'm wrong in that post?
> The quote is just irrelevant to the pertinent question.

I've quoted it in response to Hyman Rosen's post stating that

You failed to read the Terms and Conditions, where you
would have seen this:

     To "modify" a work means to copy from or adapt all
     or part of the work in a fashion requiring copyright

     To "propagate" a work means to do anything with it
     that, without permission, would make you directly or
     secondarily liable for infringement under applicable
     copyright law...

So the license says that if you want to do something that
copyright law would stop you from doing, the only way to
do that is to accept the license. If copyright law lets
you do something, then that action is not covered by the
defined terms "modify" and "propagate", and you don't need
the license to give you that permission anyway.

So here we go again:
(AGPL is pointless (Score:4, Interesting))

by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Monday June 30, @01:59PM (#24004153)

I'm going to use US copyright law in this comment, but I believe other
countries have similar provisions.

US copyright law says that the owner of a particular copy of a program
can make modifications to the program in order to adapt it for use on
his machine, without violating copyright. The case law has interpreted
this to include modifications beyond just what is necessary to make the
program run--it includes adding features if those features are necessary
for what you are trying to use the program for. See 17 USC 117
[] for the statute itself.

Section 9 of AGPL says this:

You are not required to accept this License in order to receive or run a
copy of the Program. Ancillary propagation of a covered work occurring
solely as a consequence of using peer-to-peer transmission to receive a
copy likewise does not require acceptance. However, nothing other than
this License grants you permission to propagate or modify any covered
work. These actions infringe copyright if you do not accept this
License. Therefore, by modifying or propagating a covered work, you
indicate your acceptance of this License to do so.

But what is modifying? That is defined in section 0:

To "modify" a work means to copy from or adapt all or part of the work
in a fashion requiring copyright permission, other than the making of an
exact copy. The resulting work is called a "modified version" of the
earlier work or a work "based on" the earlier work.

Because of 17 USC 117, and the interpretation of the scope of that in
the case law, most use of AGPL software in a software as a service
environment will NOT involve "modifying" the software as defined by
AGPL, and you won't be required to make your changes available.

Could you be so kind as to tell me why you think that it was
"increasingly erratically" to cite this post in response to Hyman
Rosen's post and what "pertinent question" are you talking about?


(GNG is a derecursive recursive derecursion which pwns GNU since it can
be infinitely looped as GNGNGNGNG...NGNGNG... and can be said backwards
too, whereas GNU cannot.)

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