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

Henrik Ingo henrik.ingo at avoinelama.fi
Wed Aug 14 19:56:26 UTC 2019

No argument that the AGPL approach is awkward - both for non-GUI software
and also for a non-network library like BerkeleyDB. Then we get to the
question what if a user interacts with AGPL LDAP server through a non-AGPL

To fulfill the letter of the requirement though, wouldn't it be possible
with LDAP to send a download url as Unsolicited Notification? As others
have commented, most internet protocols allow for arbitrary text as
headers, so this should be generally possible. That the clients won't show
this to users isn't an issue, as the AGPL doesn't stretch to the clients.

If such a url is considered a performance overhead, then I would agree it
is a good reason to avoid AGPL, but that is more a subjective determination
and not direct OSD violation.


On Wed, Aug 14, 2019 at 4:39 PM 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.
> --
>   -- Howard Chu
>   CTO, Symas Corp.           http://www.symas.com
>   Director, Highland Sun     http://highlandsun.com/hyc/
>   Chief Architect, OpenLDAP  http://www.openldap.org/project/
> _______________________________________________
> License-discuss mailing list
> License-discuss at lists.opensource.org
> http://lists.opensource.org/mailman/listinfo/license-discuss_lists.opensource.org

henrik.ingo at avoinelama.fi
+358-40-5697354        skype: henrik.ingo            irc: hingo

My LinkedIn profile: http://fi.linkedin.com/pub/henrik-ingo/3/232/8a7
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-discuss_lists.opensource.org/attachments/20190814/3b1f2f22/attachment.html>

More information about the License-discuss mailing list