[lug] Google Chrome Linux "distribution"

Chris Riddoch riddochc at gmail.com
Thu Jul 9 13:46:01 MDT 2009

On Thu, Jul 9, 2009 at 1:23 PM, Zan Lynx<zlynx at acm.org> wrote:
> AFAIK there is no such legal thing as "remote execution". You send a
> request to the server, it runs the program and sends back output. The
> output isn't copyrighted. The owner of the server hasn't done anything
> requiring a copyright license, so how does Affero matter? The owner of
> the server never has to agree to Affero in order to possess, modify,
> execute the code or to distribute its output.

Perhaps there's another way to see it.  Here's a wild and crazy idea:

Code is being run on the server, as a service, on behalf of the user -
and initiated by the user.   The fact that it's a service rendered,
with output (executable or not) sent back to the user, could make it
seem like the execution of code is like a musical work-for-hire.

According to wikipedia's "Work for Hire" page:  "A work made for hire
(sometimes abbreviated as work for hire and WFH) is an exception to
the general rule that the person who actually creates a work is the
legally-recognized author of that work."

If the license says that the software should be treated as a work for
hire, and specifies that the *end user* of the software should
ultimately be recognized as the author of the software, then by
transferring those rights to not the owner of the server on which code
runs but the end-users, we create another form of copyleft that
doesn't actually rely on the original software developers holding
copyright - it transfers it to the group of end users.

Of course, I'm not a lawyer.  The RIAA played a large part in
formalizing this "work for hire" concept legally - wouldn't it be
amusing if this would actually fly?

And no, I haven't really thought this specific idea through much - it
just popped into my head as I was reading this thread.

Chris Riddoch

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