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From André Warnier>
Subject Re: [users@httpd] Reverse proxying is problematic
Date Wed, 02 Dec 2009 23:05:36 GMT
Robert Schenck wrote:
> *I know this is a long read...but I really need help, and felt the best way
> for anyone to help me remotely is to explain the issues in their entirety. *
> Hello,
> I'm trying to set a reverse proxy, but first, some context:
> My office is subscribed to few academic journals. These journals verify the
> subscription via IP, such that anyone connected to the internet through our
> connection can access the journals. However, some individuals would like to
> access the journals away from the office as well. 

I know that there is already a long list of answers to this, at the 
technical level. And you were right to provide some background like you 
did above.

Before solving the problem at the technical level, I would /strongly/ 
recommend getting in touch with the publishers of these journals, and 
talk to them about your idea (or your boss' idea) first.
This is just in case one of them would object, and consider that by 
doing this you are violating the commercial agreement your office has 
with them, and your office thus becomes a target for a copyright 
infringement lawsuit.
Publishers, who live from these copyright fees, tend to not joke about 
such matters.

Background :

A publisher made a contract with your office, whereby a certain number 
of people have access to a certain number of published journal articles, 
against a flat fee.  That flat fee replaces, under certain 
circumstances, a per-article, per-person fee which would normally have 
to be paid.  The number of people to which this arrangement applies, and 
the corresponding fee, is estimated by the supplier on the base of some 
reasonable number of users.  This number of users is limited, 
approximately, by the number of people which the supplier roughly 
calculated would be accessing these articles from within your corporate 
network, and would thus look like originating from the IP address of 
your firewall/proxy.

Your scheme would basically break the assumptions of the supplier, by 
potentially providing access to an uncontrolled number of people from 
outside of the network for which these assumptions were calculated.
The supplier may get very unhappy about this.

On the other hand, a case such as you describe is not that uncommon, and 
I am sure that the suppliers of these articles have other solutions 
available, which do not contravene the commercial agreements.

The official User-To-User support forum of the Apache HTTP Server Project.
See <URL:> for more info.
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