On 13-Sep-05, at 4:27 PM, Christophe Grandsire wrote:

>> That said I agree with the answer of many posters in this list: I 
>> think it is a bad idea to limit the use of your software like this.
>
> I disagree on that statement. Having to send your changes back to the 
> author is indeed a bit too much indeed. But Free Software is about 
> protecting both the rights of the author but also the rights of the 
> *user* of software, rights which are considered fundamental, and 
> ensuring equity between the two.

I would disagree with that portion of your statement, in that the goal 
of "Copyright" is to protect the rights of the author(s), the idea of 
free software is more so that of sharing ideas with others (this same 
idiom can be used with lots of different topics, not just software).

>  Its goal is ethical. And taking Free Software, making changes to it, 
> and then only let users use it as a web service through a browser and 
> deny them access to the source code because you are not "distributing" 
> the application may be legal, but it sure isn't ethical and is against 
> the spirit of Free Software. It's basically closing the source of an 
> originally Free Software, and is one of the reasons why a licence like 
> BSD is not acceptable to people like me. If one can close the source 
> code, it's not Free Software. True freedom always has limits ("the 
> freedom of the one stops where the freedom of the other begin). Web 
> services based on Free Software which don't distribute the code to 
> their users break the principle on which Free Software was built.
>
> Saying that asking web service makers to distribute their code if they 
> let users others then themselves or their own corporation is too 
> restrictive is like saying that the GPL is too restrictive and 
> everyone should use BSD-style licences. The additional restrictions of 
> the GPL compared to the BSD licence ensure that *everyone* in the 
> chain of users and/or (re)distributors enjoy the *same* Freedom, and 
> can never prevent others to enjoy that same Freedom too. Closed-source 
> web services based on Free Software is an attempt to break that chain 
> of Freedom, and thus isn't ethically acceptable, and it is *not* too 
> restrictive to prevent this phenomenon from happening.
>
> As for whether such a restriction would be unacceptable to most 
> people, I really disagree. When the GPL first appeared, the BSD 
> licence was so far the main Open Source licence, and many people used 
> the same arguments as I see now on this thread to convince others that 
> the GPL was too restrictive and that everyone should stick to BSD 
> licences. But what is the most popular Open Source licence nowadays? 
> And which one proved to ensure the most people enjoyed the most 
> Freedom? Yep, that's the GPL. Those arguments were incorrect then, and 
> are still off the mark now.

This last bit, I'm not going to bite on, I'll just say i disagree, and 
let it stay at that.

> Christophe Grandsire.

--
Jeremy Tregunna
jtregunna / blurgle.ca

"If debugging is the process of removing bugs, then programming must be 
the process of putting them in." --Dykstra