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Re: Is AGPLv3 DFSG-free?

2008/9/10 MJ Ray <mjr@phonecoop.coop>:
> "Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso" <jordigh@gmail.com> wrote:
>> What's so non-free about requiring the same network that's providing
>> the interface to somehow and vaguely facilitate the conveying of the
>> source?
> It's an extra required cost on top of one's use of the software.

One's modification and distribution over a network of that software,
let's be explicit. And I argue that this extra cost is no greater than
the cost of providing the network interface that's triggering this
clause in the first place.

>> Lawyers will have to decide, but the terms of the AGPL seem vague
>> enough to allow a variety of creative solutions for distributing the
>> source, including, btw, *all* of the same terms for distributing
>> source that the GPL already provides.
> The extra AGPL clause specifies exactly one set of terms for
> distributing source: "access to the Corresponding Source from a
> network server at no charge, through some standard or customary means
> of facilitating copying of software."
> Lawyers will have to decide?  Then please call us back once lawyers
> have defused this lawyerbomb.

What I mean is that "through some standard or customery means" seems
vague enough to me be interpreted as I did, that all the network
server has to do is tell you where to get the source, not that it
directly has to provide the source over this network connection, and
it's important to mention that all the same terms of the GPL for
distributing source also apply to the AGPL except for the extra

I mean, are you giving me "access to the Corresponding Source" if your
network server tells me to check the media that came with my bluetooth
device that's providing a network interface, and are you giving me the
same access if your network server tells me to look at some other 3rd
party network to look for the source? If it does, then I think the
protests of the AGPL placing undue burdens on the software conveyors
are unfounded.

If "access to the Corresponding Source" means nothing less than that
the network server must directly send me the source over the network,
then I shall relent arguing that the AGPL satisfies the DFSG.

> There seems no good reason to link the AGPL and the GPL.

I'm not sure what you mean. Both licences are identical except for
clause 13, and even that clause explicitly says that you can combine
GPL and AGPL works. They're clearly meant to be compatible and used

> The intentions of the AGPL are different, as explained in its
> preamble, based around the absurd idea of ensured cooperation.

Huh? It's absurd to ensure cooperation? Isn't this the whole point of copyleft?

> I think pointing to other people's servers may work, *as long as* your
> deployment checks they are still serving source and goes offline if it
> can't find the source.  I'm not sure whether that meets DFSG, though.

So in case this is an unreasonable burden, the GPL *and* AGPL provide
other ways to convey source, like CDs.

- Jordi G. H.

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