Stefaan A Eeckels <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:

> This very wide interpretation (giving copies to all who come into
> contact with the program) is not how the GPL has been interpreted by
> the FSF itself.

Do you not agree that section 2 states that the users of modified[0]
programs which accept commands interactively[1] must be given (by the
licensee) the opportunity to acquire a copy of the program, become a
licensee and therefore be allowed to copy, modify and distribute the

This seems to be saying that, for this specific class of programs, if
the owner of the copy (the licensee) gives (someone) permission to use
(ie run) the program then permission must also be granted (to that
same person) to acquire a copy. If this applies (explicitly) to
modified programs which accept interactive commands, then by
implication it also applies to other modified programs which are
licensed under the GPL.

The interpretation is not as wide as to apply to all who come into
contact with the program, just those whom the licensee allows to run
the program. I can see nothing in the FAQ you quoted which states that
this is not the case, but one part 'However, putting the program on a
server machine for the public to talk to is hardly "private" use, so
it would be legitimate to require release of the source code in that
special case' describes a situation where the licensee has to provide
a copy of the work.

[0] In other words, the original creator of a work does not have to
allow users to obtain copies, but those who create derivative works
have to do so.

[1] Which is a class of program which at the time the GPL was written
(when multi-user computers were much more common than 'personal' ones)
was very likely to be run by people (users) other than the owner of
the copy.
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