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Re: Affero General Public License

Nathanael Nerode wrote:
Florian Weimer wrote:

It seems that web.py does not include the source transmission facility
mentioned in the AGPL.  As a result, the additional clause is void,
and the license should be DFSG-free.

Unfortunately the clause is not void.
(1) This is a copyleft, so all derivative works must use the same license;
(2) unlike clause 2c which applies if the *modified* program satisfies certain conditions, clause 2d applies if the "Program as you received it" satisfies certain conditions

So if I create a derivative work of web.py ("webplus.py") which *does* include the facility mentioned in the AGPL, no subsequent derivative works of "webplus.py" can ever remove it. This regardless of *my* desires as the author of the source transmisison facility!

This is pretty hideous.  I don't know if it's non-free, but I'd guess so.

Is there a way around it? Dual-licensing my portions of "webplus.py" under a free license, and then distributing only in patch form (so that the recipients never receive "webplus.py" as a single work)? No, that wouldn't allow binary distribution.

It seems yes however. If you distribute the source in that way, then the users having received the source have received a copy of the unmodified source code (i.e. he has then received a copy of the software not containing that facility). He can then modify this source code without including the facility. The fact that he has previously received a binary containg the facility does not seems to change anything (since he modifies the source code, not the binary).

Anyway, I am not sure that the interpretation of the AGPL given on this list is the exact one. It seems reasonable to interpret it as "if the software interact with the user, this facility must be preserved") (it is in the spirit of the license). I agree however that this unclear; and I think it is worthwhile to ask clarification to the upstream authors.


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