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Discussion on: Explain GPLv2 License like I am five

genichm profile image
genichm Author

Thanks for the explanation, I did't completely understand limitations of usage in SAAS systems. If I use some component that is GPLv2 inside of API that is exposed to external usage does some limitations apply on the API?

guyzmo profile image

Well, it's the 'Cake as a Service' example.

The limitation of GPLv2, is that it states that whoever has one freedom — like the ability to run the code, they'll have all four freedoms.

But when it comes to SaaS, the loophole is that users of a SaaS don't run the code. It's whoever owns the servers that's running it, only offering an 'API' (that includes the web, as it is some sort of weird, complex, shiny, blinking human facing API).

This is why we had the AGPL (Affero GPL) which closes the loophole, and whenever you're a user of a service, but not the user running the service, then you must be provided access of the source code of said service.

The GPLv3 is an improvement of many aspects of the GPLv2 (making a case against DRM, software patents…), which is what the AGPL is based on.

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jabowery profile image
James Bowery

Edit this passage so it is a sentence:

" when has been invented the 'Cake as a Service', it's a service to throw cakes in your face."