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Re: Affero General Public License

On Sat, Feb 11, 2006 at 04:12:39PM -0800, Josh Triplett wrote:
> Would it be an excessive requirement to provide an offer for source (at
> up to 10 times your cost of providing source)?  The offer could easily
> be stuck in the fine print next to the copyright notices.

I've generally been of the opinion that the "provide an offer for N years"
option in the GPLv2 is not a free option.  That is, software that requires it
and didn't offer the GPL's easier alternatives (to place the source alongside
the binary on the FTP) would be non-free.  I don't think we've ever actually
seen a license do that and it's only come up theoretically.

(Who would ever mirror Debian if every mirror had to maintain a snapshots.d.o?
An argument could easily be made on Dissident Test grounds, as well.  The
"10 times" change makes some cases more reasonable for some people, but not

So I think my answer is yes; it's not reasonable to require that I commit
myself, for years into the future, to the task of archiving, packaging and
shipping source, and this is just a slight variation on that theme.

This, by the way, isn't a flaw in the GPLv2: it's perfectly fine for a free
license to offer non-free alternatives alongside the free ones.  (You know
that, of course.)

Glenn Maynard

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