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Re: Alternatives to the Affero General Public License

On Wed, 22 Jun 2005, Gregor Richards wrote:

If the alternatives provided by clause 3 of the GNU GPL were also
options, would that be an improvement?  That is, if, instead of
providing source within the page itself, an offer to provide source was
given, would that work?

I believe this to be an improvement, and it will make your job of creating a clear document easier. I don't believe it makes the requirement compatible with free software.

I suppose the issue here is that you certainly couldn't give a physical,
printed, written offer to every one who used a web server, but then, it
may be reasonable to put "source is available on request to ..." in the

If there IS human-readable output, and that output is unimportant enough that offtopic text about licensing doesn't interfere with the functionality, this is an improvement. It's still not free, but it's an improvement you should consider. Much like a $10 license fee is less painful than a $200 fee, and neither is free.

I'd like to encourage you to think less along the lines "it's currently a web server, so the license should cater to that case" and more like "people should be able to make things out of this that I haven't thought of, using methodologies yet undreamt". This can't happen if you're prescribing things like network protocols, output text, or specific behaviors.

If I can't turn it into a random-number service that runs on my phone over some crazy bluetooth RPC mechanism, it ain't free.
Mark Rafn    dagon@dagon.net    <http://www.dagon.net/>

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