GPL License with clause for Web use?

Shane Martin Coughlan coughlan at
Wed Nov 21 19:40:45 UTC 2007

MJ Ray wrote:
> Shane Martin Coughlan <coughlan at> wrote: [...]
>> As usual the FSF's GPL FAQ has some information that may be useful:
> Erm, that FAQ doesn't actually cover the frequently-asked questions
> about GPLv3's patent-in-copyright or most aspects of the AGPL upgrade
> clause or most of the other content discussed in this thread.  Most of
> the new FSF licences are not in its compatibility matrix.  Why is it
> useful here?  Why would you think think it's not already well-read?

Well, for example the FAQ discusses GPLv3's patent clause briefly here:
and here:

The FAQ has some items about AGPL here:
and here:

For questions regarding the patent language not specifically covered in
the FAQ you should contact FSF's licensing lab directly.  Indeed, if the
question is generally applicable I would hope to see it incorporated in
future versions of the FAQ.  The same goes for questions about AGPL.

Regarding the compatibility matrix, your statement is incorrect.  Both
GPLv3 and LGPLv3 are listed here.  AGPL is not yet listed, but that
hardly constitutes "most of the new FSF licences."

I think this page might be worth a look to see if it answers people's
questions.  Where it does not, I suggest contacting the FSF licensing
team directly to receive authoritative answers rather than speculating.

>> For specific licence questions and concerns regarding the AGPLv3 I
>> suggest email Brett Smith and the FSF licensing team at
>> licensing at  Speculating about the terms of the licence may not
>> be the optimal way to understand it's implications.
> It's usually faster and more verifiable when it works, though.  What's
> licensing at fsf's current response time, resolution time and enquirer
> satisfaction rate?

What is usually faster?  Speculation and the assumption that it is
verifiable as fact?  I am afraid I would not agree with that assertion.
 It is important to question things and put them under consideration,
but it should be done in context.  Where uncertainty exists about a
topic it is prudent to contact the originators to ask for their perspective.

As for the response time, resolution time and satisfaction rate, you
would have to ask the FSF licensing team.

>> Naturally FSFE's FTF is also glad to lend a hand where we can.  You can
>> contact me directly or email the FTF at ftf at
> What's FTF's response, resolution and satisfaction?

We usually acknowledge and queue items within one to two days.  We
resolve them as quickly as possible, though each item depends on its
complexity.  For instance, a question about the differences between GPL
and LGPL is pretty easy.  A report of a violation in binary firmware is
not.  Context once again.  Satisfaction?  We work with a lot of people.
 I have not heard many complaints.

Of course, in the context of understanding the specifics of the AGPL the
primary contact should be Brett over at FSF.

>> PS: Off-topic, but would you chaps be willing to help out with some
>> practical licence usage questions I have?  Sort of little market survey.
> I would, but I think FSF would class me as off-message for
> documents-as-software and web applications... and probably GPLv3 too now.

I'm interested in people's perspectives.  I'll contact you off-list in
the near future when I have the questions ready.  Thanks.


Shane Coughlan
FTF Coordinator
Free Software Foundation Europe
Office: +41435000366 ext 408 / Mobile: +41792633406
coughlan at
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