Questions / Concepts GPL. Was: Re: GPL License with clause for Web use?

Sam Liddicott sam at
Thu Nov 22 13:27:22 UTC 2007

* Ciaran O'Riordan wrote, On 22/11/07 12:50:
> Sam Liddicott <sam at> writes:
>> The GPL is widely considered a share-alike license where licensors have
>> understood that the same terms will propagate throughout the distribution
>> chain.
> You're presenting an argument against additional requirements as being an
> argument against AGPL compatibility.
> Apache licence compatibility was achieved by allowing people to add the
> requirements of Apached licensed code to GPLv3 licensed code.
> Are you really against additional requirements
I don't mind that the GPL3 itself has additional requirements to the GPL2.

I understood (correctly I hope) that equivalent patent requirements of
the apache license are part of the GPL3 license and so that licensors do
not actively "add" the requirements of the apache license to the GPL3.
Clause 9 of the apache license is not a restriction on use as such
merely prevents liability from passing beyond the bounds of those who

Supplementary terms a-f in section 7 of GPL3 do not trouble me; they are
all fair terms, which given infinite foresight could have been coded
explicitly in the GPL3, but lack of such foresight in different legal
realms requires this flexibility; those terms do not materially change
the restrictions of the GPL3 in my mind. Those terms help licensors to
be able to *actually* get the benefits which the GPL should provide.

I'm against people being able to add additional requirements to the work
already licensed by me, by converting from GPL3 to AGPL.

However, I owe a few people an apology, I got the AGPL and GPL3 confused
yesterday, and thought that the quotation from section 13 of the AGPL
was taken from the GPL (which is why it took me by surprise). I thought
the GPL3 itself was permitting upgrading of licenses to AGPL.

So I thank Ciaran (and also Simo's efforts) because I now realise that
the AGPL / GPL3 compatability effort which I knew about has not somehow
(behind my back) added an extra clause to the GPL3.

And so, my brief opposition to the GPL3 has been successfully quelled, I
find nothing objectionable in it.

I realise that any enhancements made to my GPL3 works will be GPL3
licensed even if they are by the same author of the AGPL work and for
the benefit of the combined GPL3/AGPL combination.

I realise that Simo tried to point that out, but in my state of
confusion did not understand.

So.... I am back to what I originally thought, the AGPL is a seperate
license which applies the benefits of the AGPL license to GPL3 software
when used with the said AGPL software. I have no problem with that.

So.. thanks - and sorry for causing so much noise.

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