Subject: Re: The GNU AGPL and Free Software Businesses
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2007 03:59:58 +0900

Michael R. Bernstein writes:

 > On Thu, 2007-09-13 at 12:51 +0900, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
 > > For example, suppose you've gone past alpha test with
 > > your derivative of AGPL code, and now you want to beta test.  *You
 > > must distribute your changes.*
 > No. Under the AGPL, you must allow users to download the code for the
 > version they are using.

Those are the "changes" and "distribution" I meant.  That meaning
should be easily recoverable from context.

 > > Tough luck, bubba; you've revealed a lot of what you intend to do, and
 > > now your competitors are almost even with you in terms of code,
 > > including the information that the free code isn't up to the task.
 > Unless your competitors are part of your beta group *and* downloaded the
 > code while it was available, I don't think your code is 'in the wild' if
 > you revert.

You don't succeed in business for very long unless you have a
monopoly, or you anticipate that your competitors are at least that
smart and capable and act to forestall them.  We're already foregoing
the monopoly; does that mean we have to be stupid, too?