GPL License with clause for Web use?

MJ Ray mjr at
Mon Nov 19 16:59:35 UTC 2007

Ciaran O'Riordan <ciaran at> wrote:
> MJ Ray <mjr at> writes:
> > It is very disappointing that FSF has been
> > causing license proliferation recently - don't encourage it! It's
> > definitely not fun for hackers!
> What's the problem?
> The number of licences in existence hasn't even changed.

So we all imagined the creation of the FDL, SFDL, Wiki licence, GPLv3,
AGPLv3 and so on?  Did they exist already, but were somehow cloaked
from our perception?  I doubt it.

Maybe the GPLv3 was necessary (but it still would have been nicer to
have a more hacker-friendly one), but the rest seem like simple
proliferation, with the Free Software Foundation either adopting new
licences or straying into what FSF itself claims isn't software.  Can
US NPOs act ultra vires without penalty?  Sure seems like it.

> The Affero licence
> already existed with GNU endorsement.  Superceding it with the GNU Affero
> GPL does nothing other than arguably increasing that endorsement.

It's a shame that that endorsement has been increased when the Affero
licence should have been allowed to die out.  It's an even bigger
shame that FSF issues press releases spinning it as a cooperation
licence.  People should cooperate voluntarily - you can adjust the
balance and encourage it, but forced sharing is not true cooperation,
because it breaks the principle of voluntary membership.

Anyway, it's easy to subvert Affero-like licences, as previously
noted.  There is no magic bullet.

Hope that explains,
MJ Ray tel:+44-844-4437-237 -
Webmaster-developer, statistician, sysadmin, online shop builder,
consumer and workers co-operative member -
Writing on koha, debian, sat TV, Kewstoke

More information about the Discussion mailing list