Affero GPL. Badgeware?

Forrest J. Cavalier III mibsoft at
Thu Mar 21 19:46:28 UTC 2002

Henri Poole <poole at> writes:

> I wouldn't interpret it that way.

Were you involved in the creation of the text?  Do you
speak for Affero?  That would be very helpful to know.

This license is going to be used by others.  (The intent and 
interpretation that Affero has is important, but not the only
one that will matter.)

> The facility is defined previously as "any user interacting with the
> Program was given the opportunity to request transmission to that user
> of the  Program's complete source code"

There is no definition of "facility."

> It does not specify that you cannot modify the facilty...but that you
> "must offer an equivalent opportunity for all users interacting with

I read the text has two separate requirements, separated by "and"
    "you must not remove that facility" 
    "must offer...."  

My point is what purpose is served by having the "must not remove"?
If you argue that the second is the necessary requirement, then why
have both?  

According to the text in 2(d), if I completely replace an existing
method with my own (maybe I copied a new file over top of an existing
one), didn't I "remove that facility", which the license prohibits?
Have I merely "modified" it, even though not a single bit of it remains?

It bothers me that the clause could be, but is not
    "continue to provide an equivalent facility"

You seem to argue that was the intent. But if you change it to be
that, the text becomes redundant, (since that is what the "and must 
offer" clause states.)

It is my understanding that one way that courts interpret legal documents
is that every clause must provide meaning.  It is not safe to argue
that clauses should be ignored as redundant when there is a way to
interpret them in a way which provides non-redundant meaning.

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