|They have this feature in their software where from any screen, you have access to download the full source code. It seems their addition to the GPL was a clause which says you can't take out that ability for the user to get the full source code. They also added a bunch of other stuff to the GPL, things like "from time to time we will change this license" and "if you want to use code in one of your programs with different terms, contact us" and stuff like that.
My initial reaction is that it's a well-intentioned effort done slightly incorrectly. I agree that we need to maybe make some changes to protect web services software and prevent people from saying that their web server, not the client, is running the software therefore they don't have to honor the GPL with respect to the client. I do think that the client should be considered the one "using" the software.
But they have something on each of their pages that lets people download the source code and they want to keep it that way? That seems silly. The GPL is all about giving people access to the source code if they want it. But it doesn't *force* the software maker to present that option at every turn. In my opinion, it's enough to put the GPL notice somewhere, and give people the option to get the source code, (not necessarily download - the GPL has provisions for making the source code available that don't necessarily have to be download) in a conspicuous place. What if I took their software and adapted the look and feel in a way that made their link on every screen a real pain in the ass? A person who changes the software should be able to control the look and feel.
Example: I take their software, change the look and feel totally, take out all of their links from each page to the download of the source. I also create an easily accessible, non-obfuscated page where they can easily see that the program is GPL'd, and that they have access to the source if they wish. In my opinion, this is complying with the spirit of the GPL, even though I removed their notices from each and every page. Notices on each and every page are overkill in my opinion.
Also, their clause saying you can't change the fact that each page gives the user access to the source is setting a bad precedent - EVERY PART of the software should be mutable in every way with the exception of the license. Why restrict certain modifications to the program that themselves will be released under the same license? That's not very GPLish. :)
What's important to me is that it's free software, and that I can easily get to a place where I can see that and have access to the source if I so choose. It is *not* important to me to have that trumpeted on every page, and actually it might get a bit annoying.
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