Affero GPL 2(d)

Michael Bernstein webmaven at
Mon Aug 16 23:47:15 UTC 2004

Eben Moglen wrote:
> Please forgive my delay.


> On Monday, 16 August 2004, Michael Bernstein wrote:
> 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.
> Yes, one could do that.  I would use some word indicating an 
> expectation that response will not be unreasonably delayed.  I 
> recognize the issue of protocol delay, but I think it is important 
> there to establish that what was an interactive option in the code as
> distributed must remain an interactive option in the code as 
> modified and deployed.

Well, I'm thinking (for example) of applications which have an
interactive interface entirely via email (for example, older mailing
list managers). Requesting a particular email from the archive or any
other command has no immediate effect, and so I wouldn't expect a
request for source to have an immediate effect either, despite the fact
that it is indisputably interactive.

Perhaps an appropriate phrasing would be 'request and receive prompt
transmission'? Promptness would seem to be relative to the protocol
being used.

> 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?
> Yes.  One mode of infringement that should be guarded against is use
>  of a proprietary protocol to distribute source.  I have considered 
> alternate drafting and would welcome suggestions.

Well, the wording of Section 3(c) suggests that just as obfuscated
source isn't a 'preferred form of the work for making modifications',
some phrase such as 'a preferred means of transmission' might work to
exclude proprietary protocols, especially in conjunction with the
'equivalent opportunity' wording already included.

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

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