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Re: AGPL3 and client code

On Mon, 10 Nov 2008 09:59:21 -0400 David Bremner wrote:

> Hi All;


> I have been talking (with the help of Patrick Ohly) to the folks at
> Funambol about how the AGPL section 13 (about providing source to
> clients [1] ) is meant to apply to e.g. client code.
>       http://article.gmane.org/gmane.comp.mobile.funambol.user/905
> After some discussion, the FSF has updated their FAQ to address this question.
>       http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gpl-faq.html#AGPLv3ServerAsUser
> If one accepts this as authoritative (and yes, I realize this not
> obvious to everyone on debian-legal), then it would address one of the
> major concerns of the last round of AGPL discussion. 

Thanks for pointing out this FAQ.
It could become the canonical interpretation of the license at some
point in the future; however, individual copyright holders (other than
the FSF) may always interpret the GNU AfferoGPL v3 differently...

> My question is whether the interpretation of "Section 13 does not
> apply, unless you are using the code in Software as Service, in which
> case it is not so unreasonable" would be enough to qualify software [2]
> for debian main.

I personally think that software solely released under the terms of the
GNU AfferoGPL v3 fails to comply with the DFSG (i.e.: is non-free).
The issues I see in the license are not limited to network clients only:


As always, my disclaimers are: IANAL, TINLA, IANADD, TINASOTODP.

> If the FSF FAQ was not authoritative enough, I think
> upstream might be willing to attach a clarification.

IMO, the best thing that upstream can do to avoid freeness doubts is
licensing under the terms of the GNU GPL, rather than choosing the GNU

> CC's are welcome, but not mandatory; I will followup via the archives
> (eventually :-) )

Cc:s added.

 On some search engines, searching for my nickname AND
 "nano-documents" may lead you to my website...  
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
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