Affero GPL 2(d)

Michael Bernstein webmaven at
Mon Aug 16 21:37:17 UTC 2004

Professor Moglen,

I didn't receive a reply to the concerns I outlined below, and was 
wondering if perhaps they got lost in the shuffle of the subsequent 

Michael Bernstein wrote:
> 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).

I understand (from reading your responses to Alex Rousskov) that from a 
legal standpoint, these are not as restrictive as they seem to me from 
my literal-minded POV, but since these licenses are still intended to be 
read and understood by programmers, I would like to know if these points 
can be addressed.

To wit:

1) Can the word 'immediate' be removed from section 2(d)? I am less 
concerned over reuse of code than I am over the obvious applicability of 
the license to a wider range of protocols and software.

2) Can the requirement for making the download available using the same 
protocol as the one through which the user is interacting with the 
program be removed in order to make using (or substituting) alternate 
download protocols more explicitly permissible?

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

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