[OWASP-LEADERS] RE: License question

Dawes, Rogan (ZA - Johannesburg) rdawes at deloitte.co.za
Sat Nov 29 07:58:41 EST 2003


Hi dinis

You wrote:

> 5) I'm also a bit confused by Rogan Dawes' (ZA -
> Johannesburg <rdawes at deloitte.co.za>) comment "...the
> other thing is that the GPL only comes into play when
> you actually distribute something.If you only use it in
> house, and never distribute, there is no requirement to
> release source at all...." (quote from his email).
> Surelly by putting a package available for download in
> SourceFourge makes thatdistributed to anybody that
> requests it? 

My comment was that, if the original poster downloads oPortal from
Sourceforge, makes any number of modifications to it for his own use, and
runs it on a website, is he actually distributing anything?

The GPL says that, if you distribute a program built from source licensed
under the GPL, you must also make the source available (to those people to
whom you distribute the binary), so that they make their own changes and
rebuild that program.

The question and discussions that I refer to were along the lines of "If I
am running a modified GPL web application on my webserver, am I distributing
the *program*, or am I just distributing the *output*?"

It seems like there might still be more complexities that I had not thought
of, based on the other posting explaining that sometimes even content
created by a GPL program must be GPL'd.

I'm afraid I can't remember where I read those discussions - it was a couple
of years ago, I think. A quick Google for "gpl web application distribute"
turned up this SlashDot discussion, which could well have been it :
http://slashdot.org/askslashdot/00/07/13/1831245.shtml

Looks like it addresses the original poster's questions, certainly, but
whether it could be considered authoritative is still debatable. It is
SlashDot, of course, home of "IANAL, but . . . "  ;-)

Rogan

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