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Re: AGPLv3 Compliance and Debian Users

Paul Tagliamonte wrote:
On Thu, Jul 11, 2013 at 12:19:47PM -0700, Howard Chu wrote:
Right, I want to understand AGPL's motivations is all.

I used to put similar terms on my code, back before the GPL existed.
Essentially: If you modify this code, you must send your
modifications back to me (the original author). The motivation is
that if you fixed a bug or improved the code, you should make your
improvements available to me, and I subsequently make them available
to the user base at large in my next release.

I don't consider this a terrible restriction - if you're using my

Sure, but that doesn't make it DFSG free (hint: it's likely not)[1][2]

[1]: The Dissident test
[2]: The Desert Island test

Sure, but #2 is stupid. We didn't say "must send changes back immediately." Nor would we wish any such thing; if you're in the middle of making a long series of changes we obviously want to wait until the changes are completed and have settled down. Otherwise someone could make a case that the changes should be sent back the instant they are written, one keystroke at a time, which is ludicrous.

Send changes back in a timely manner. You obtained the software somehow; therefore at some point in time a distribution channel was available to you. The next time such channel is available, send your changes back. If you're stuck on a desert island and die before such channel reopens, no one's going to sue you.

I'd say #1 is borderline stupid. It is worded such that it only applies to hiding existence of a system from the government. Fair enough; I'm not the government. I've accepted many patches from anonymous senders for various code (see http://rtmpdump.mplayerhq.hu/ for example:

RTMP Dump v2.4
(C) 2009 Andrej Stepanchuk
(C) 2009-2011 Howard Chu
(C) 2010 2a665470ced7adb7156fcef47f8199a6371c117b8a79e399a2771e0b36384090
(C) 2011 33ae1ce77301f4b4494faaa5f609f3c48b9dcf82
License: GPLv2
librtmp license: LGPLv2.1

  -- Howard Chu
  CTO, Symas Corp.           http://www.symas.com
  Director, Highland Sun     http://highlandsun.com/hyc/
  Chief Architect, OpenLDAP  http://www.openldap.org/project/

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