Subject: Re: The Affero GPL (AGPL)
From: Michael Bernstein <>
Date: Thu, 22 Jul 2004 11:03:46 -0700

Russell Nelson wrote:

> Michael Bernstein writes:
>  > Michael Bernstein wrote:
>  > > Has anyone yet submitted the Affero GPL (AGPL)[1] for OSI certification?
>  > > 
>  > > [1]
>  > 
>  > I'll assume that the non-response means that no-one has yet submitted 
>  > the AGPL.
>  > 
>  > May *I* submit it, or must it be Affero?
> Yesbut, what if we tell you that it needs to be changed?

Well, I'll be up the proverbial waterway without a paddle, won't I? I'm 
assuming that won't be necessary, but if it is that is still useful 
information. I might then have to a) adopt a different license, or b) 
devise an AGPL-like license that you (and the FSF) can approve.

Some extra information about the license:

The license is identical to the GPL, except for the addition of clause 2d:

  * d) If the Program as you received it is intended to interact with 
users through a computer network and if, in the version you received, 
any user interacting with the Program was given the opportunity to 
request transmission to that user of the Program's complete source code, 
you must not remove that facility from your modified version of the 
Program or work based on the Program, and must offer an equivalent 
opportunity for all users interacting with your Program through a 
computer network to request immediate transmission by HTTP of the 
complete source code of your modified version or other derivative work.

As far as I can tell (IANAL), the addition of this source distribution 
requirement does not impact the license's conformance with any of the 
OSD criteria, and closes the GPL's web-app loophole quite nicely. All 
users of the application may obtain the source, regardless of whether 
the application was distributed to them or they only use it over a 
network. The web-app loophole is the main reason I don't want to use the 
GPL for my web applications.

The one 'bug' I'm aware of in the license is the explicit mention of 
HTTP as the transmission protocol, but this shouldn't affect it's 
acceptability to OSI. I know it doesn't affect it's acceptability to me.

- Michael R. Bernstein  |  Author of Zope Bible  |  & Webmaster      |