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Re: Emacs RPC

From: Daniel Colascione
Subject: Re: Emacs RPC
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2011 13:26:47 -0700
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On 4/24/11 1:04 PM, Richard Stallman wrote:
> If we implement this, its documentation should inform users that
> intimate communication between Emacs and other code might imply that
> they are one program and that the the other program must be covered by
> GPLv3.

I realize it's difficult to ask this question without expecting to spark
controversy is a bit like shooting an Archduke in the Balkans without
expecting war, but:

Doesn't the "derivative work" boundary end at the IPC level? If I have a
GPLv3ed web server, clients don't become bound by the GPLv3.  If I have
a GPLv3 web *service* that provides services over SOAP (a form of RPC),
users of that web service are not automatically bound by the GPLv3 ---
that's why we have the AGPL, after all. Linux programs aren't bound by
that kernel's GPLv2 license, nor are programs that interact with the
GPLv3d Samba.

So, why would it be the case that clients of some Emacs RPC become bound
by the GPL? I realize that a degree of "intimacy" can bring a system
over the license event horizon, but it's not clear to me that there's
any bright line we know we've crossed. Like an astrophysical event
horizon, it seems like you can only know you've crossed it after you've
tried to escape and failed.

On a more practical basis, some programs, I imagine, use emacsclient's
eval feature to run elisp today. Is every such user today bound the GPLv3?

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