Web services and free software

Alex Hudson home at alexhudson.com
Sun Jul 22 11:45:12 UTC 2007

On Sun, 2007-07-22 at 13:20 +0200, Alfred M. Szmidt wrote:
> While the GPL (any version) is not a trivial license, any hacker who
> is capable of writting a non-trivial program should be able to grasp
> it in an hour.

Perhaps "should", but they don't.

> Still, it is a easy license compared to most other licenses, and the
> general ideas are easily grasped by the four freedoms of free
> software.

Compared to most other licences? I'm not sure about that. It's more
complex than most BSD-like and Apache-style licences, which are a
significant proportion of "other".

>    Not everyone agrees that the right to see software source on
>    someone else's machine you're using is a free software right; I'm
>    not particularly sure I do.
> I think that this is no different than a machine that I own that
> prohibits me from upgrading it.

Whereas I think it's no different to using a shell on a shared server.

>    That's a shame if it's not, they did build in a clause to make it
>    compatible:
> 	   "You may also choose to redistribute modified versions of
> 	   this program under any version of the Free Software
> 	   Foundation's GNU General Public License version 3 or
> 	   higher, so long as that version of the GNU GPL includes
> 	   terms and conditions substantially equivalent to those of
> 	   this license."
>    Perhaps that upgrade route is dead now the Affero clause didn't
>    make it into the GNU GPLv3.
> This clause has nothing to do with the Affero license though.

Er, yes it does - it's a clause in the original Affero licence, which
was supposed to provide GPLv3 upgrade capability similar to the LGPL.

> The Affero license isn't "substanitally equivalent" to GPLv3. 

Indeed, so it looks like the Affero -> GPLv3 upgrade route is dead,
since the original Affero doesn't mention the possibility of relicensing
to the GNU Affero GPL.



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