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[Freedombox-discuss] AGPL code for the FreedomBox?

On Wed, Mar 9, 2011 at 12:28 PM, Mirsal Ennaime <mirsal at mirsal.fr> wrote:
>> The AGPL does make certain allowances for persons to pass-along a
>> written source offer,
>> ...
>> 2) There are conditions restricting this to non-commercial use, and it
>> could be difficult to prove that a person's FreedomBox is a wholly
>> non-commercial system.
> I don't think there is anything in the AGPL restricting commercial use,
> please correct me if I'm wrong.

Sorry for the confusion. I'm not suggesting that the AGPL restricts
commercial use. I'm referring to a couple of specific clauses in the
GNU AGPL v3, namely the section that describes the restrictions on
how/when one can meet source code obligations by passing along a
written offer from upstream.

> (note: IANAL and my interpretation might not be correct)
> As far as I understand the AGPL, the idea is that the program has a
> "print source code over the network" feature, and the license forbids to
> remove that feature in modified versions providing public network
> services.
> In other words, Suzy's grandmother should not have anything to worry
> about in that regard as the program itself takes care of the license
> requirements, provided she does not modify it in a way which changes its
> ability to do so :)

In the general case, yes, I'm agreeing that Suzy's grandmother won't
have to deal with licenses.

What I'm suggesting is that if we decide to ship servers that run AGPL
code, we should consider the lifetime of these servers might extend
for several years and make sure that any source code that doesn't ship
with the machines is available at the given urls for a very long time.

>> Don't get me wrong here -- I'm quite supportive of putting AGPLed
>> software into the FreedomBox -- I just want us to have a solid plan in
>> place so that code under the AGPL license is a benefit to our end
>> users, not a burden.
> I don't think AGPL software would negate any of our goals (as in the
> broad collective vision of the freedombox project that seems unanimously
> accepted here)

I don't think that the AGPL license *itself* is contrary to our goals
here. What I'm trying to point out is that our clever hack of a
license that is the AGPL might come back to bite some of our less
tech- and legal- savvy users in the soft and wobblies if we aren't
proactive in our plans to protect them.

We just need to think carefully, that's all.


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