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Re: Is AGPLv3 DFSG-free?

"Arc Riley" <arcriley@gmail.com> wrote:
> You're taking quite a few steps forward on logic here, let's rewind a bit.

Please avoid personalising this discussion.  Also, I am reading the
list, so there is no need to cc me, as per the code of conduct.
Finally, I've tried to correct the botched quotes, but I may have
misattributed some.

> > I'm not sure that that's the case, but that seems like a pretty clear
> > contamination of unrelated software, which would break DFSG 9.
> It does not change the license of that software in other uses, it only
> applies the terms of AGPLv3 section 13 to the whole of the work. [...]

So I still don't understand the original claim that connecting a 3d IM
client to an AGPLv3'd GTalk server would allow Google to obtain the
source of the client.  Anyone?

> [...] Two users of an XMPP network
> able to interact with the other's software thus enact AGPLv3 section 13.  At
> this point of consideration the only difference is who the software in
> question is willing to interact with, based on it's settings and protocol.
> Google employee "Bob" may need special access to run a script that requests
> the software version of every user that connects to their XMPP servers, but
> as far as this license is concerned, all that matters is that the AGPLv3
> licensed software interacts with Bob's script by replying.

How is that interacting any more than viewing someone's screen? If we
accept that "interact" means "act on each other" (Collins Eng Dict),
then the AGPLv3 software acts on Bob's script's output, but Bob's
script doesn't seem to act on the AGPLv3 software's output in the
above case, so they do not interact.

> Again, there is no requirement that your software interact with all users.

So as long as the software locks that user out before they access the
source, there is no need for them ever to download, which is a new
twist on the previously-mentioned loophole.  I'm surprised if that's
correct, but how would one refuse to interact with a user without
examining (and acting on) something output by them?

> > Free (as in cost) code hosting services do not offer guarantees of
> > availability or longevity, so the user must still host their own copy
> > too, else the C.Source may not be available when it is requested.
> There's no guarentees on any server, but a popular free VCS service is
> undoubtedly more reliable than what most people could provide with their own
> servers.

Well, there are guarantees available on servers, but they cost, which
would break DFSG 1.

Co-hosting the application and C.Source avoids the application being
used in breach of licence when the C.Source is unavailable.  AGPLv3
makes anyone who can't co-host the application and C.Source into
second-class users who should take their app offline whenever the
C.Source's home looks unavailable, breaking DFSG 5, or DFSG 1 if
checking has a significant cost.

> I can't see a copyright holder bringing an infringement case against a
> modder because gna.org had server trouble one night making their modified
> code unavailable for a few hours.  These things happen, we deal.

I think we should examine reasonably obvious lawyerbombs *before* they
explode in our face.  It might not be a few hours - it might be
forever.  Free hosting services have vanished in the past.

> > Why?  Don't all users of the modified version also have to keep a copy
> > to be able to satisfy section 6, as outlined above?  They can share
> Section 6 is "Conveying Non-Source Forms", and specifically uses the word
> "convey".  Note section 0's definition of this word:
> To "convey" a work means any kind of propagation that enables other
> parties to make or receive copies.  Mere interaction with a user through
> a computer network, with no transfer of a copy, is not conveying.
> Section 13 requires the distribution (conveying) of the "Corresponding
> Source", not the "object code", and thus section 5 (not 6) applies to the
> act of network distribution required by section 13. [...]

Sorry, "satisfy" was a bad word.  Let me try to explain the relevance
of section 6's list: section 5 is section 4 plus notices and general
public licensing of modifications.  Section 4 requires distribution
"as you receive it, in any medium [...] any price or no price" which
is not troublesome (and so the GPLv3 is fine on this) but section 13
limits that to "from a network server at no charge, through some
standard or customary means".  I suggest that we don't have standard
means to download the C.Source for a network application yet and
section 6 gives examples of some customary means.  Also, I suggest
that a user cannot rely on the C.Source being available at no charge
by any means without liability for the hosting and download costs.

Hope that helps,
My Opinion Only: see http://people.debian.org/~mjr/
Please follow http://www.uk.debian.org/MailingLists/#codeofconduct

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