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Re: GR proposal: the AGPL does not meet the DFSG (take 2)

The Fungi wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 09:28:59PM +0000, David Claughton wrote:
> [...]
>> You might want to, but AFAICT you would not be able to distribute
>> the result if the user cannot be told how to get the source to the
>> AGPL parts you included. That doesn't mean the original software
>> isn't DFSG free, at least I don't see how it does.
> If you wanted to modify the original software in such a way that it
> becomes interactive but via protocols which don't provide a means to
> send arbitrary notes, this license would prevent you from being able
> to legally do so. 

True, but that in itself doesn't make it non-DFSG-free, at least not by
any reasonable interpretation (IMHO).

DFSG 3 says the license must allow modifications and the modified
version must be redistributable under the same license.  That is not the
same thing as saying you must be able to make *any* modification you
like, including mods that breach the terms of license.

It is always possible to modify free software in ways that effectively
make it non-free - for example if you remove all the copyright
statements from a BSD covered program.

If you wanted to incorporate small pieces of it
> (say, an included library) into a new project which employs
> protocols which don't provide a means to send arbitrary notes, this
> license would prevent that too. It stifles innovation in ways the
> earlier GPL versions did not.

Some licenses are more restrictive than others - doesn't necessarily
make them non-free.

> I'm not a GPL apologist to begin with (as I already find it too
> restrictive of end-user/distributor freedom for works I write), but
> I have a hard time seeing how AGPL works can pass the dissident
> test, at a minimum. The original GPL only requires you to distribute
> source for applications which you are already distributing modified
> binaries. The AGPL adds on a requirement to begin distributing
> source for modified applications to which you allow connections over
> the network in any way, even if you aren't distributing the software
> itself.

I don't think the dissident test is meant to be read quite as literally
as you seem to be reading it!  My interpretation is its OK if you have
to give the source to users of the application as long as you don't have
to give it to non-users.

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