First off, I'm the copyright holder, so technically, I don't have to release a damn thing if I don't want to. :-) Of course, if I hadn't wanted to GPL Scoop in the first place, I wouldn't have, so as far as I'm concerned, everything will always be freely available.
Secondly, I don't really have a problem with the idea that running a website is *not* distributing software according to the GPL. If I download a GPL'ed NIC driver, say, and I find that it has a major inefficiency and fix that in my local copy, but never distribute the changed source or binary, I don't have to inform anyone of my changes, or release them. This is one of the rights explicitly granted under the GPL.
If someone takes Scoop, and modifies it to run their own web site (and I mean non-trivially modifies the core code), and never tries to distribute their modified version, I think that's well within their GPL rights, in both the letter and the spirit of the license. If they get fantastically rich from their website, well, I'm happy for them. I don't think the GPL should be modified or "fixed" to account for this scenario, because IMO the license has always been intended to allow use like this.
Now, if I wrote a word processor, that could run as a web service, and someone took that and changed it and then offered the service to others, I might feel differently about that. But the only way to do that that I'm aware of is with Java, and a significant part of an app like that would have to be actually downloaded and run by the client. This would provide a solid argument that you are in fact distributing the code, and thus must release changes under the GPL.
It's a subtle difference, but I think there is a difference. Basically, if all you ever do is run it on your machine, even if a lot of people access and "use" the output of the code, it's still not being distributed. A web site like this is, at heart, just a remote access terminal into a database. I don't think this is a "circumvention" of the GPL at all. I want people to use my code. If they need to modify and customize it to make it useful to themselves, that's fine. I don't want people to be able to hide my code from others, so the GPL ensures that they can't take my code, and distribute it as "proprietary" software. If they want to keep their modifications hidden and never distribute anything, that, IMO, is their prerogative.
Then again, I've always fallen rather on the side of "weak infectiousness", so take it for what it's worth. :-)
Not the real rusty
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