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Re: Affero General Public License

On Tue, Feb 07, 2006 at 10:41:55AM -0500, Benj. Mako Hill wrote:
> <quote who="Marco d'Itri" date="Tue, Feb 07, 2006 at 12:14:40PM +0100">
> > vorlon@debian.org wrote:

> > >No, it is not.  The requirement of source redistribution to third parties
> > >that you are not distributing binaries to is incompatible with the DFSG.

> > Which part of the DFSG, exactly?

> The issue, as I understand it, comes down to one of two things. As
> Steve phrased it, it would probably fail the Chinese dissident test
> which, while not part of the DFSG, is seen as a useful tool by many
> people on this list. I'd argue that that this doesn't come into play
> here because the AGPL/GPLv3 only requires redistribution of code to
> *users* but not to everyone.

> The second argument is it fails the much more generic DFSG3 "must
> allow modification" argument. Barring modification of the license and
> copyright statement seems completely uncontroversial for obvious
> reasons. Similarly, there is consensus that barring modification of
> significant pieces of functionality seems to encroach users'
> freedom. The GPL(2)(c) seems OK although there are a number of
> interpretations why that is.

> I think the core issue is the second one. Steve seems to think that
> anything that does what AGPL is trying to do is non-free which seems
> to imply he's making either the first argument or something else I
> don't understand.

I think that, in practice, it's very difficult for a license to do what the
AGPL attempts to do without carrying with it a number of unacceptable side
effects.  I won't say it's impossible, I just don't see (at this point) how
it could be done.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
vorlon@debian.org                                   http://www.debian.org/

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