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[Freedombox-discuss] AGPL code for the FreedomBox?

On Wed, Mar 09, 2011 at 11:55:44AM -0500, Les Orchard wrote:
>On Wed Mar  9 11:39:22 2011, Robinson Tryon wrote:
>>As I understand it, the AGPL requires the distribution of source code 
>>to public-facing AGPLed network services running on a machine. If I 
>>take this prototype FreedomBox front-end and run it on my plug server, 
>>I'll have to provide the source on that machine (or a link elsewhere). 
>>I'm curious what will happen when the links hard-coded into 100,000 
>>FreedomBoxes (or someone else's copycat project) go stale.
>FWIW, as I understand it, this only kicks in if you're running a 
>modified version of the software. Then, you have to provide your 
>modified source in some form, somewhere. Say, on github. If you haven't 
>modified it, then a standard link back to the main project pages should 
>be fine.

That's still a problem, similar to that of hiding version numbers 
advertised by e.g. Apache: Boxes then advertise if running code 
identical to some upstream or not, which can become a problem in some 

Imagine you want to do something unusual and do not want to advertise to 
the whole World that your box deviates from the mainstream.  The freedom 
to "blend in" so to speak.

(not to be confused with the Debian "Pure Blend" term, btw).

I certainly like the principles of AGPL (maybe unlike Eben - I seem to 
recall a brief harsh remark on that at the beginning of or right before 
getting to the stand to do his talk at Debconf10 last summer).

Perhaps we could make sure that public facing web pages are generated 
only from GPL code, but be ok with AGPL for code only interacted with by 
authenticated users - who would then be trusted enough to reveal the 
"flavoring" of the box to.

In other words, I suspect this shouldn't be judged alone but in 
connection with trust model(s) of our users and their network(s).

  - Jonas

  * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
  * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website: http://dr.jones.dk/

  [x] quote me freely  [ ] ask before reusing  [ ] keep private
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