[License-discuss] Discussion: AGPL and Open Source Definition conflict

Richard Fontana rfontana at redhat.com
Wed Aug 14 13:55:39 UTC 2019

On Wed, Aug 14, 2019 at 9:27 AM Howard Chu <hyc at openldap.org> wrote:
> Clause #10 of the definition https://opensource.org/docs/osd
> 10. License Must Be Technology-Neutral
> No provision of the license may be predicated on any individual technology or style of interface.
> I note that the Affero GPL https://www.gnu.org/licenses/agpl-3.0.en.html clause #13
> 13. Remote Network Interaction; Use with the GNU General Public License.
> Notwithstanding any other provision of this License, if you modify the Program, your modified version must prominently offer all users interacting with it
> remotely through a computer network (if your version supports such interaction) an opportunity to receive the Corresponding Source of your version by providing
> access to the Corresponding Source from a network server at no charge, through some standard or customary means of facilitating copying of software.
> violates the OSD clause #10. This issue arose specifically in the case of OpenLDAP when
> Oracle relicensed BerkeleyDB 6.x using AGPL. There is no available mechanism in the LDAP
> Protocol to allow us to comply with clause #13 of the AGPL. I believe the same is true of
> many common internet protocols such as SMTP, FTP, POP, IMAP, etc., which thus now precludes
> servers for these protocols from using BerkeleyDB. It appears to me that AGPL is plainly
> incompatible with the OSD and should not be an OSI approved license.
> This is no longer a pressing issue for us since we have subsequently abandoned BerkeleyDB
> in favor of LMDB. But I thought I should point it out since it may affect other projects.

Can you explain further why you believe this to be so, especially for
those who may lack the relevant technical knowledge, or familiarity
with OpenLDAP, to assess what you're arguing?


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