GPL License with clause for Web use?

MJ Ray mjr at
Wed Nov 21 14:46:49 UTC 2007

Ciaran O'Riordan <ciaran at> wrote:
> MJ Ray <mjr at> writes:
> > No, the GPL hasn't always attached requirements to "making it
> > available for others to use".
> I didn't say it did.
> I said that X was "more similar" to Y than it is to Z.  I didn't say X == Y.

OK, I've misunderstood: so you only meant to say that viewing the
output of some software is more similar to getting a copy than to
running it?  That's not a whole lot more credible IMO.

> > Ciaran claimed that [...] does this mean the FSF will [...]?
> (Note: I don't work for FSF or set policy for GNU.  FSFE and FSF are
> independent in terms of management, staff, and finances.)

Noted.  FSFE seems a bit more talkative and transparent, so sorry if
we sometimes try to pump FSFE for information on what the hell FSF are
thinking when they appear to do utterly counter-productive things.

> FWIW, barring a change in technology or in the way people use computers and
> networks, I don't think that AGPL will be a widely used licence, so I don't
> see any big GFDL-sized controversies coming.

I hope it's not widely-used, but the AGPLv2 already caused enough pain
and I'm already seeing the FSF Media Monster going into overdrive
promoting this, with misdirecting claims like that no developers will
be forced to use it.  OK, maybe not forced, but our choice on
encountering a AGPL'd program that we'd like to adapt will be to avoid
that software - if one GPL web app now goes AGPLv3 (particularly if it
goes GPLv2+->GPLv3->AGPL), FSF has harmed our development.

Also, all developers must now regard the GPLv3 as no longer a strong
copyleft unless they delete/revoke the AGPL-friendly clause.  The one
thing that worried some developers enough that they published under
GPL2-only rather than "or later" has happened!

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