Affero GPL 2(d)

Michael Bernstein webmaven at
Fri Aug 13 16:41:13 UTC 2004

Eben Moglen wrote:
> Michael,
> Henri has reminded me of an overdue obligation to respond to 
> discussion of the Affero GPL as a potential candidate for OSI 
> approval.

Eben, Thank you for joining into this discussion.

> Our current projected 2(d) for use in a modified Affero GPL or other
> similar license is:
> d) If the Program as you received it is intended to interact with 
> users through a computer network and if, in the version you received,
>  any user interacting with the Program was given the opportunity to 
> request transmission to that user of the Program's complete source 
> code, you must not remove that facility from your modified version of
>  the Program or work based on the Program, and must offer an
> equivalent opportunity for all users interacting with your Program
> through a computer network to request immediate transmission of the
> complete source code of your modified version or other derivative
> work by the same communication protocol used for other user
> interaction with the Program.

I think this draft largely solves the technological neutrality issue,
but I have two nitpicks left:

> For clarity's sake, however, one would meet this objection in
> amending the license text, by s/request immediate/request and receive
> immediate/. I see no legal risk that would be created by the addition
> of those words.

Is the word 'immediate' required? Some applications used over a network 
can have delayed responses.

> "by the same communication protocol used for other user interaction
> with the Program."

Is this necessary? It would prohibit placing an ftp:// link within an
HTML web application interface, not to mention any number of other 
combinations (an http:// link within an email, for example).

- Michael R. Bernstein  |  Author of Zope Bible  |  & Webmaster      |

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