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Advogato: The Web is the Ultimate Copy Protection

Dec 18, 2000, 07:28 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Crawford)

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"When a user uses a web application hosted on a server, he does not possess the executable binary (let alone the source) of the program and will lose access to the application if the provider goes out of business or decides not to host it anymore. This is the real threat of Microsoft's .NET initiative and "thin-client" computing."

"The GNU General Public License typically does not apply to web applications because they are not actually distributed. We need a new license to ensure our code remains truly free in the face of server-based applications."

"I should more properly say "web applications are given the ultimate copy protection as a result of being deployed on servers rather than user machines" but that wouldn't fit in the subject line (and isn't nearly as pithy)."

"When you install a binary executable application on your computer, whether it is free or proprietary, you have the actual executable program yourself. In general, you don't need to be hooked up to the net to run the program."

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