For Approval: Socialtext Public License ("STPL")

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at
Mon Mar 19 20:35:43 UTC 2007

Ross Mayfield wrote:
> Thanks for all the feedback so far.  I find it encouraging that the
> only issue seems to be with the Affero clause.  Wanted to provide one
> point of clarification:

That's not the only issue.  I mentioned issues other than the Affero
clause in that same email, including remaining OSD problems, logo
crowding, and what "sufficient duration" means.  See my comments on MSPL
 some of which still apply.  If I'm focusing on Affero, it's mainly
because it's new.

> On 3/8/07, Matthew Flaschen <matthew.flaschen at> wrote:
>> However, SocialText (the program itself) does not seem to have any
>> provision for providing source to users, so the clause is currently
>> toothless.  If you use this license, I assume you'll want every version
>> you release to have this feature.
> The attribution component provides a link back to Socialtext, where
> the source is available for immediate transmission.

First of all, such an indirect link probably doesn't comply with the
clause, which require "immediate transmission".  I count 4 clicks from
the SocialText main page to the source download.  More importantly, the
whole point of Affero is to make sure the user gets the source that's
*running*; this means the right version, including otherwise private
customizations. SocialText doesn't even seem to host old versions, and
they obviously won't have changes a site makes separately.  If a site
can comply by linking to SocialText's version (rather than their private
version), there's no point.

If this is how you interpret the Affero clause, you should just remove
it, because that is not the meaning.  I'll reiterate that SocialText
(the program) does not have a source access provision, so I believe the
clause does nothing.

Matthew Flaschen

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