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From Tony Sanders <sand...@bsdi.com>
Subject Re: ScriptAlias-like extensions for perl etc
Date Wed, 01 May 1996 18:47:15 GMT
Mark Brown writes:
> Robert S. Thau said:
>     FWIW, I believe FastCGI deals with some of the issues raised in (2),
>     having discussed it a bit with the people from OpenMarket, though I
>     *still* haven't seen the full spec.  (I've just pinged them again about
>     this; I find their attitude *really* puzzling).

My main objection to FastCGI is their pseudo-legalese LICENSE.TERMS
that only a lawyer could love (a lawyer you are paying to try to
interpret it that is).  I cannot understand it much less agree to
it and I refuse to hire a lawyer to "license" something that I
could design and write myself in a weekend (a task I'm prepared to
do to make sure there is a free, common server gateway).

For example, it appears to grant license to ``implement'' FastCGI but
it nevers gives you permission to actually use or distribute it.  It says:
    Open Market permits you to use, copy, modify, distribute, and license
    this Software and the Documentation solely for the purpose of
    implementing the FastCGI specification ...
I'll assume this is unintentional but it doesn't give me warm fuzzies.

And it goes on to say:
    Open Market shall retain all right, title and interest in and to the
    Software and Documentation, including without limitation all patent,
    copyright, trade secret and other proprietary rights.

MY QUESTION TO OpenMarket IS THIS:
    What are you trying to protect?

Since doing CGI over a socket is a trivial idea and the implementation
should be equally trivial I don't understand what rights they think
they are protecting.  I hope they don't think they have any patent
rights in the idea of a socket connected server API because it is
way obvious -- we even talked about that when doing the initial
CGI spec (but the *extreme* simplicty of CGI won out since it was
functional for 95% of the applications with 5% of the work, it
worked with simple shell programming, and it was trivial to add on
to existing servers).

There is nothing in FastCGI that is note-worthy except the implementation
so why don't you just license it under a Berkeley-style copyright
(like the Apache license -- basically says "we wrote it, give us credit,
don't blame us, have at it").

We put CGI in the public domain so I don't think that it's too much
to ask that a common server gateway API do the same.  If FastCGI
isn't going to be equally open then I would have to highly recommend
not using it.

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