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Re: Is AGPLv3 DFSG-free?

2008/9/10 Ben Finney <ben+debian@benfinney.id.au>:
> "Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso" <jordigh@gmail.com> writes:

>> 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.
> This is plainly false: There is, at minimum, additional cost of
> storage, additional cost of bandwidth,

I have been interpreting the AGPL, and so far have not been challenged
on this interpretation, that these additional costs can be transferred
onto third parties for whom the cost is probably negligible, like code
hosting sites. The protests I have heard on this point is that perhaps
transferring these costs to third parties is not effective for various
reasons (anonymity and whatnot).

> additional cost of modifying  the interface to support such an
> offering,

I suppose it may be a bit naïve of me to think that this cost could
also be negligible. Maybe "Click here for source!" is hard to code for
certain circumstances.

> and additional cost of maintaining those modifications over
>  time.

For instances where the maintenance could be cumbersome, I think the
alternative methods of providing source, such as all at once when you
first transfer the software, could be effective.

How plausible is it that you have a server somewhere providing the
interface but unable to provide the source? I have a hard time
imagining such a situation, so I don't think I fully understand the
impact of this protest against the AGPL. The cases of when the user is
given a device that has a local network interface can be solved by
giving the user the source on a separate medium when given the device;
this seems like a negligible cost too.

> That's before we even get to the question of whether the AGPL allows
> the corresponding source to be unavailable at a given point in time
> when an person who interacts with the program at time T and then at
> time T+X requests the corresponding source.

I am not sure. It might. The "opportunity to receive the Corresponding
Source" might be an opportunity in the future. To sue, you would
probably have to convince a judge that you were never given an
opportunity at all.

- Jordi G. H.

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