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Re: Berkeley DB 6.0 license change to AGPLv3

Stefano Zacchiroli <zack@debian.org> writes:
> On Tue, Jul 02, 2013 at 09:17:13AM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:

>> As an upstream for INN, I think doing such a thing would be completely
>> absurd, and would rather just drop Berkeley DB support entirely and
>> make everyone switch to a different overview method than do anything of
>> the sort.

> I'm curious, can you elaborate on why as upstream you'd refuse to add
> something like a protocol command that return a URL pointing to a
> tarball containing the source code of the INN version the users are
> running?

Does that satisfy the license?  It doesn't look to me like it does,
because it doesn't ensure that the offer is presented to every client.
The client has to go run some command.

If that's all that's required, that's trivial -- put the URL into the
motd.* files and then LIST MOTD will return it with no further involvement
on INN's part required.  I certainly have no objection to that -- I don't
have to do anything at all as upstream.  :)  But that didn't seem to be
what the license said.

> At times, I'm really surprised by the upfront opposition that AGPL could
> get in Free Software cycles and I'd like to understand more your motives
> as an upstream.

The AGPL, for software that's already free and that isn't being abused in
the ways that the AGPL was designed to address, adds a bunch of headaches
and work for precisely zero benefit.

I understand the point for things that are heavily abused, such as cloud
services in general.  But INN is not one of those things.  Besides, it
doesn't really matter if it is: INN has always been available under a
BSD-style license.  That decision was made a long time ago, and it is what
it is; I intensely dislike random third-party software trying to force
that to change.

Berkeley DB does have a copyleft license already, but it's a very
unobjectionable one as these things go.  It's much easier to deal with
than the GPL, for instance, and is trivially satisfied by software
distributed under the BSD license.  This is not at all true of the AGPL.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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