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Re: Is AGPLv3 DFSG-free?

Sorry for any etiquette foobars I may have made, I wrote that email in a bit of a hurry this morning.

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?

When the client permits the server to interact with it.  For example, if Google ran a script asking every client which connected to their servers for their version.  If the client was licensed under the AGPLv3 and replied, thus supporting interaction and allowing Google to "use" said client software over a network, AGPLv3 section 13 it seems to be to apply to that interaction.

For us, PySoy-based game "clients" will almost always provide a fairly rich level of interaction to remote users, to the extent of P2P (player to player) distribution of game content and even server-less game modes.  The terms of AGPLv3 section 13 applying to all networked instances of PySoy games is a desirable effect of the license for many reasons.

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.

If Bob's script sent the request in response to a connection/authentication from the client, then this is complete.  I would say, further, that any query/response pair represents interaction over a network.

I'm obviously taking the most broad interpretation possible here.  I'm not sure if this is related to the DFSG status of the license, however.

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.

Maybe I'm just making light of this scenario, I as a copyright holder would never expect people to temporarily stop using software just because the server that hosts it's source code is temporarily down.

But if that's a real concern, the code could be uploaded/mirrored easily enough to guarentee uptime.

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.

You are correct, they have, and for the most part projects which were hosted on them moved to another free VCS service.

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.

Ah, I can see where you drew this conclusion now, even if I disagree.

The license does not specify that the distribution must be in any specific form.  If section 6 distribution terms were desired for section 13, it would have specified so in section 13.  Legal documents are very specific about this, they need to be to avoid confusion.

Section 13 only requires it be distributed through a standard or customary means.  The way I read this means a manner in which source code is generally distributed by the community.  As a tarball over HTTP, as a distributed VCS branch, etc.  The language is open-ended enough such that future means of distributing source code are available as they become standard or customary.

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