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

Bernhard R. Link wrote:
> * David Claughton <dave@eclecticdave.com> [091114 12:43]:
>> I agree this makes the license problematic and might make developers
>> choose to avoid working on AGPL code - however as I said above, all
>> licenses put some limits on what you can modify, some more than others,
>> at least if you want to distribute the result.
> The problem is that with AGPL you do not need distribution, all that is
> needed is running. Once you are no longer allowed to modify what
> programs on your computer do, how can that be free?

AIUI you are allowed to run the program on your computer, assuming that
the service cannot be connected to from a remote location (or you are
the only person that can do so).

>> > Let's take this to some extreme: What about software with a license that
>> > forbids you running it unless you published your changes in a
>> > peer-reviewed scientific journal?
>> > I hope we all agree that at least that would be non-free.
>> Yes, that would breach DFSG 5 and possibly 6 as not everyone would be
>> able to do that.  However the AGPL does not limit who can make
>> modifications so this isn't a good analogy.
> If you phrase it that way, I start to think it is an good analogy.
> Remembering how often I was told in AGPL discussions that having to run
> some file server is no cost, as of course there will be enough people
> out there ready to host your make-it-work-quickly patched versions and
> garantee it will never go offline (so you will not have to monitor it
> and stop your servers once it does), finding a journal that will take
> your paper sounds easy in comparison...

You don't necessarily have to put the source on your own server -
particularly if you are only distributing the program and not running it
as a service yourself.  As I've suggested above, one solution is to
distribute the source with the binaries and arrange for it to be
downloadable from any server the binaries happen to be running on.

Without a doubt this is a PITA, and might not be possible for some
programs, but it doesn't mean that the license itself is non-free IMHO.

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