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Re: Berkeley DB 6.0 license change to AGPLv3

Stefano Zacchiroli wrote at 03:14 (EDT):
> So, I wonder, do we have any idea (due to them having already been
> mentioned publicly elsewhere) about the craziest interpretation of
> AGPL that the "evil guys" might come up with and, at the other end of
> the spectrum, the most restrictive one?

> AFAIK AGPL hasn't been tested in court, yet.

I continue to believe that the "tested in Court" standard is highly
overrated.  It's useful, but it's not the litmus test.

The main issue is that very little non-litigation AGPLv3 enforcement has
ever happened, AFAIK.  Status.Net did some on its codebase; I've helped
do some on Pokersource's codebase.  Other than that, I'm not aware
of any.

> But I can't help wondering what people are really scared about here.

I think folks are scared because it's an unknown.  We've lived with
inappropriate GPLv2 aggression from companies like MySQL AB (now Oracle)
for at least a decade now, so we have a good sense of the tricks and

I think AGPLv3 is much better in this regard because it has GPLv3's much
more forgiving Termination provision....

> Is it the quine scenario (IMHO ruled out by the license text, but
> obviously you never know...) that people fear to have to implement,
> worrying about the fact that simply providing URLs to tarballs wouldn't
> be considered enough?

... however, admittedly, AGPLv3 is a stronger copyleft than GPLv3
(requiring the thing that Stefano describes), and thus it's easier to
make minor violations, and a company like Oracle might get aggressive.

But, I agree with you Stefano: these worries are speculation based on
past behavior by Oracle, more than they are certainties, which is why I
think the fork-under-AGPLv3 proposal is enough of a hedge to prevent any
serious problems.  But that's a speculative remedy on my part about the
speculative problem herein discussed. :)
   -- bkuhn

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