GPL License with clause for Web use?

simo simo.sorce at
Wed Nov 21 16:48:13 UTC 2007

On Wed, 2007-11-21 at 15:25 +0000, MJ Ray wrote:
> simo <simo.sorce at> wrote:
> > On Wed, 2007-11-21 at 14:49 +0000, MJ Ray wrote:
> > > Indeed.  Unless we delete the AGPL-friendly clause, a project might as
> > > well use MIT/Expat or BSD or zlib instead of the GPLv3 and save some
> > > bytes and developer-time on the licences.
> >
> > Why don't you simply put everything in the Public Domain?
> I don't think it's simple to access the PD from all countries.  As I
> understand it, some authors have to wait for copyright to expire now.
> (I think England is among those countries, but I forget and I work on
> international projects anyway.)

Remember that only the author can ever sue someone, so to get a "Public
Domain" at all effects you just need to release code without any
authorship but with explicit consent to use for any purpose, and keep
record privately of the fact you own that code.

> > Why bothering about copyleft at all?
> I think there's a place in free software for a strong copyleft.

Yes there is, and for even stronger (eg AGPL) too (imo).

> > I will probably not use the AGPL in future, but I  don't seek excuses
> > not to use the GPLv3, and frankly why should I care what you or Sam
> > *claim* will or will not use?
> So, frankly, why are you even reading this thread on this mailing
> list, let alone posting to it?

I am wondering indeed :)

> These aren't *excuses* not to use the GPLv3, but comments on how it's
> developing.  It seems that the drawbacks of the AGPL are not
> well-understood.  That's fine in general, as most developers probably
> shouldn't have to worry about these things, but some do!

Some overreact to anything they learn, yes.

> Personally, I learn a lot from reading the comments of others -
> especially some of the smarties on this list! - even when I disagree
> with them, and I doubt that I'm particularly unique in that.

Me too, but when the same stuff goes over and over in long threads it
becomes trash in the end, especially when someone jump to harsh
conclusions without taking the time to form a balanced opinion weighting
all pros and cons. (Not saying you did or Sam fwiw)

> > There are tons of projects already switching to GPLv3, evidently these
> > people think it's a good license worth using, at least they are not so
> > vocal about their opinions but just *act*.
> Most of the ones I know who have switched to GPLv3 are GNU projects
> who have done so under some instruction/suggestion from FSF to their

This may not be accurate: but
shows a different story. And no they are not mostly GNU projects, heck
we (Samba) changed our license before GNU projects announced it afaik.

> maintainers.  I'm against the buggy licence-proliferation/drafting
> process that the FSF is using, but I'm not anti-GPLv3.

whatever this means, I'll keep it in mind.

>   I am anti-AGPL
> and currently withholding development work from the only AGPL'd
> project I'm associated with.  If I had the spare developers, I'd
> reimplement and obsolete that project, but it's not a core business
> for me.

Is it for anyone? If not why do you care so much, just as a matter of
principle on a minutiae?

> However, with the publication of *this* particular AGPL in the last
> few days, a key feature of GPLv3 has suddenly vanished.  So what are
> its key features now?  Patent terms which debatably have no place in a
> copyright licence and should have no effect in sane jurisdictions?

You must live in a different world then the real world ... for a
license, it does not matter what the laws *should* say, it matters what
the *current* legal environment is, and what are the *current* threats.

The patent provisions were *necessary*, if you question that, I wonder
how you can understand the legal framework the GPLv3 was built in and
therefore the reach and the threats it needs to cover.

> Compatibility with both GPLv2 and Apache?  The water just got a whole
> lot muddier.

GPLv3 is compatible with a number of licenses, and funnily for example
GPLv2 only is not compatible with GPLv3 (not the other way around).
License compatibility was just one of the goals, the most important
where to address the new threats arising in computing today.

> > Please add something interesting to the discussion or maybe consider
> > saving our time and bandwidth. You are not required to answer at all
> > costs if you have really nothing to say.
> Maybe try reading messages and participating in the discussion less
> stroppily.  If one starts by assuming "all these people are enemies of
> my belov├Ęd" it will never end happily.

I usually do, but I do not feel like participating with useless messages
in discussions where I see no reason to, I try to stick with my own
advice of saying something where I have something to say, I guess I
failed in the last couple of email.

/me retry to stick with his own advice

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