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Re: First draft of AGPL v3

Francesco Poli wrote:
:::: Bad: no clear definition of remote users

The term "user" is not clearly defined.

Is your point that it is impossible to clearly define, or do you have alternative language?

Do you know how the corresponding clause in the current Affero license has historically been interpreted?

This ambiguity is really problematic, as it implies that there's no
clear way to tell whether a modified version supports remote
interaction, and hence there's no clear way to tell whether it is
subject to the restriction specified by this section.

It's not that bad. If I turn some AGPLed code into a local graphics-editing application which has no network capabilities, it's fairly clear that it doesn't apply.

But then, what happens if I access that desktop using remote X? Hmm...

Let's say the clause instead said that anyone who interacts with the work had to get access to the corresponding source, full stop (no network need be involved). Would that be less ambiguous, I wonder?

(if your version supports
such interaction) an opportunity to receive the Corresponding Source
of your version by providing access to copy the Corresponding Source
from a network server at no charge.

:::: Bad: use restriction, with a cost associated to it

This restriction compels whoever runs the modified version of the
Program to accommodate the source code on the server or, alternatively,
to set up and maintain a separate network server to provide source code:
this may be a significant cost in some cases.

I don't understand this argument. Having to provide CDs of source or fulfil the terms of a written offer is also a significant cost, but no-one thinks that makes the GPL non-free.

This is ultimately a use restriction (from the point of view of whoever
runs the modified version of the Program)

What does it prevent you using the Program for?

and effectively forbids
private use of the modified version on a publicly accessible server.

Well, it forbids public use of the modified version on a publicly accessible server. :-) But of course it does - that's the point. But then the GPL forbids giving someone the use of the modified version via giving them a copy without handing them the source code at the same time. That's not a use restriction.

The AGPL clearly passes the Desert Island test (and the Tentacles of Evil test). I'm not sure the current wording of the Dissident test had this situation in mind, but I think a good argument could be made that it passes.

(Incidentally, what part of the DFSG is the Dissident test supposed to help test against?)


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