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

I moved the discussion to debian-vote where it belongs.
(please CC me).

On Mon, Nov 16, 2009 at 06:05:25PM +0000, Mike Hommey wrote:
> On Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 11:45:25PM +0000, brian m. carlson wrote:
> > Again, this is not the language that the AGPL uses.  It requires that
> > "your modified version must prominently offer all users interacting with
> > it remotely through a computer network" the source.  Notice the text
> > "your modified version".  It's not acceptable to offer it out-of-band.
> > Also, it says "all users".  That means anyone who calls connect(2),
> > whether they can authenticate or not.  POP can't do that.  Neither can
> > DNS.  Those protocols almost never have any indication to the user that
> > they are working.  Most users don't even know that they're there.
> >
> > This doesn't even mention the situation for HTTP, where it could be
> > interpreted to mean that every response requires a modification of the
> > data in some way so that the user can be offered the source, since the
> > header is not displayed to the user, let alone "prominently".
> Stupid question: with this wording of the AGPL, who, in his right mind,
> will be licensing a DNS or POP server under this license ? (Except maybe
> someone who didn't read it)

This is a good question and there are two answers:

1) Someone might want to reuse part of some AGPL software in a completly
different work. For example, a AGPL-licensed blog system might include a 
code that implement an authentification scheme that you want to reuse in your
POP3 server. If a license actively prevent you from doing that, then it is

2) People tend to have lots of misconception about software licenses and 
especially about the AGPL, and on the face of it, the AGPL might look as a good
license to use: it is GPL3 compatible, new and shiny, supposed to close a GPL
loop-hole, etc. and nowhere it is said it is only approriate for software doing such and such, so it is only a matter of time before Debian is confronted with
this issue. 

Bill. <ballombe@debian.org>

Imagine a large red swirl here. 

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