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Re: Berkeley DB 6.0 license change to AGPLv3



On Tue, 02 Jul 2013 18:40:11 +0200 Florian Weimer wrote:

> * Paul Tagliamonte:
> 
> > On Tue, Jul 02, 2013 at 09:44:10AM +0200, Ondřej Surý wrote:
> >> Florian Weimer has correctly pointed out that Oracle has decided to change the
> >> BDB 6.0 license to AGPLv3 (https://oss.oracle.com/pipermail/bdb/2013-June/
> >> 000056.html). This hasn't been reflected in release tarball (probably by
> >> mistake), but since the AGPLv3 is not very friendly to downstream projects, we
> >> (as the Debian project) need to take a decision.
> >
> > What? Wait, What? What?[1]
> >
> > The AGPL is a DFSG free FSF approved and OSI approved free software
> > license? We made a decision, it's *free software* and fit for main.

For the record, I personally disagree with the FTP masters' decision to
accept works licensed under the terms of the GNU AfferoGPL v3 into
main:
http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=495721#28
But that's my own opinion, of course.

> 
> The problems start when random, network-enabled, but non-web stuff
> switches over to the AGPL *without* implementing the Quine required by
> the license (which is somewhat difficult to do for a library, but at
> least there could be a "give me a tarball" interface).  That makes it
> difficult to perform local changes and stay in compliance with the
> license because you have to build the source code distribution
> mechanism from scratch and design a process that ensures the sources
> and running binaries match at all times.

This is indeed one of the issues of the GNU AfferoGPL v3.
There are other issues, as well.
My own analysis is here:
https://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2007/11/msg00233.html

If those issues don't make people consider AfferoGPLv3-licensed works
as non-free, I think this license should at least be considered as
problematic.

Especially when a fairly widely used *library* switches from a
*permissive non-copyleft* license to a *highly restrictive* one (such
as the GNU AfferoGPL v3), I think the change should *not* be neglected
or taken lightly...


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