From: Justin Mason (jm at domain jmason.org)
Date: Wed 17 May 2000 - 15:51:54 IST
Donncha O Caoimh said:
> If the program is running over X or cgi then it's not distributed. This
> came up in an article about a company offering Linux desktops using VNC
> over the Internet. They can hack their products and not release source
> as users are only using the software, not being given it. I think. :)
I dunno about that being correct though... it is a very difficult problem
area. With SOAP and other networked distributed RPC protocols being
developed and deployed widely -- this will get harder.
It'll take some serious thinkage on the part of RMS, Bruce Perens, et al
to work this one out.
> IMO, people in the company represent the company and are part of that
> entity. Therefore distributing a program in a company isn't giving it to
> another "person". People can distribute the program outside the company
> but if it's within their own(and company's) interest not to distribute
> they won't and don't have to.
That would pretty much match my opinion BTW, although it might differ
based on the size of the company.
I still think it would be much more likely that, if you hack on GPLed
code, it would make your life easier to either:
* release your mods back to the maintainer, or
* make them "pluggable" through a generic interface so that your
proprietary code can be interfaced in future versions, and work
out same way to get the interface layer into the GPLed codebase;
if the code's function or interface is sufficiently useful to
other folks, this is quite often OK and the maintainer will
Basically doing this makes *your* life easier. It makes *sense* to give
back mods to GPL code (or *any* third-party code for that matter).
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