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Re: Is AGPLv3 DFSG-free?

2008/9/1 Daniel Dickinson <cshore@fionavar.ca>:

> AGPLv3 may or may not be free, but as the discussion goes on I am
> finding the arguments against it less credible as they seem to be
> invoking 'problems' that are not really problems.

Some of the problems might be important anyway. I'll sum up my
personal concerns. Say I want to create a 3D virtual world based on
the IRC network, using PySoy as the base framework for that, PySoy
being AGPLv3 will force me to:
1) Either not being able to modify the source code or
2) Spam everyone I interact with, saying the client I'm using and how
to get the full source code.
3) Be able to notify servers in the network on how to be able to get
that source code too.
4) Be able to provide the source code through one of this means:
4a) Through my own connection. There can be technical problems for
this, for example in a low-width connection. It can also be a security
issue, as a source-demand-DoS can be triggered. It might also be
annoying for people if they are using that bandwidth for someting
4b) Through a server of my own, with the economical cost associated.
4c) Through a public server, having to identify myself (thus, I
wouldn't be able to remain anonymous)
5) Have legal problems in countries in which my program might not be
legal, by providing having to provide it to people there, as I might
be interacting with people in that country. Example: My 3D irc has
support for encrypted connections, I might be chatting with people
from other countries in which encryption might be forbidden. License
is forcing me to commit a crime in that country.

I know that some other's point of view about this don't see my
concerns, as they have already expressed they thoughts. I understand
that a DFSG-free program must provide a de-facto compliance with DFSG,
and not just a theoretical one. Thus, if for technical reasons some of
them are not fulfilled, and that situation is not really exceptional
or terribly rare, I'm not sure I would consider it DFSG-free. That
includes not being able to use the code in certain applications, like
embedded systems or throught low-band connections, as well as
excluding groups of people for economical reasons. Of course this
shouldn't be affected by the fact that the code is modified by the
user or not. That's how I'm currently seeing it after all this

The license might be OK for other kind of programs, like WebApps, for
example. Can a license be free when it has consequences that might
make it non-free for some programs while some others don't?


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