Subject: Re: The GNU AGPL and Free Software Businesses
From: Thomas Lord <lord@emf.net>
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2007 12:34:26 -0700

Michael R. Bernstein wrote:
> My opinion is that the existence of a GPL-compatible & FSF-endorsed
> software license that closes the 'web-app loophole' will expand the
> territory of the now-familiar dual-licensing business model to hosted
> user-facing web-applications, particularly where instances of such
> applications participate in a larger ecology that has it's own network
> effects (by sharing and federating data, for example).
>
> What say you?
>   


That's a good bet and its a damn same.   It's bad for user's freedom
and the FSF should not have done this.

AGPL takes away the freedom to not share, which is the same
as taking away the freedom to share.

Dual licensing is one proprietary software strategy to exploit that
problem with AGPL.   There are other strategies.   For example,
a blog service might strip down its software a bit, offer an AGPL
version, and then collect improvements without any obligation
to distribute their own improvements.   Companies could also
release AGPL programs for more subtle strategic purposes --
for example, in order to create demand for some other, back-end
proprietary web application without having to pay too much
to develop a front end and without accidentally creating a
competitor with hostile proprietary control over the front end.

-t