GNU Affero General Public License
From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia
|Author||Free Software Foundation|
|Publisher||Free Software Foundation, Inc.|
|Published||November 19, 2007|
|Debian FSG compatible||Yes|
|GPL compatible||Yes (permits linking with GPLv3)|
|Linking from code with a different licence||Only with GPLv3; AGPL terms will apply for the AGPL part in a combined work.|
The GNU Affero General Public License (GNU AGPL) is a free, copyleft license published by the Free Software Foundation in November 2007, and based on the GNU GPL version 3 and the Affero General Public License.
It is intended for software designed to be run over a network, adding a provision requiring that the corresponding source code of modified versions of the software be prominently offered to all users who interact with the software over a network.
Compatibility with the GPL
GNU AGPLv3 and GPLv3 licenses each include clauses (in section 13 of each license) that together achieve a form of mutual compatibility for the two licenses. These clauses explicitly allow the "conveying" of a work formed by linking code licensed under the one license against code licensed under the other license, despite the licenses otherwise not allowing relicensing under the terms of each other. In this way, the copyleft of each license is relaxed to allow distributing such combinations.
Examples of applications under GNU AGPL
Flask developer Armin Ronacher noted in 2013 that the GNU AGPL is a "terrible success, especially among the startup community" as a "vehicle for dual commercial licensing", and gave Humhub, MongoDB, Odoo, RethinkDB, Shinken, Slic3r, SugarCRM, and WURFL as examples.
MongoDB dropped the AGPL in late-2018 in favor of the "Server Side Public License" (SSPL), a modified version which requires those who offer the licensed software as a service accessible to third-parties, to make the entire source code of all software used to facilitate the service (including without limitation all "management software, user interfaces, application program interfaces, automation software, monitoring software, backup software, storage software and hosting software, all such that a user could run an instance of the service using the Service Source Code you make available") available under the same license. As approval for this license by the Open Source Initiative was not forthcoming the application for certification was withdrawn. It was banned by both Debian and the Fedora Project, who state that the license's intent is to discriminate against cloud computing providers offering services based on the software without purchasing its commercial license.
- Jaspert, Joerg (November 28, 2008). "ftp.debian.org: Is AGPLv3 DFSG-free?". The Debian Project. Retrieved December 1, 2008.
- List of free-software licences on the FSF website: "We recommend that developers consider using the GNU AGPL for any software which will commonly be run over a network."
- "OSI approved licenses". Open Source initiative. Archived from the original on 2021-10-23.
- "OSI approved", Licenses, TL;DR legal.
- "Licenses section 13", GNU AGPLv3, GNU Project.
- "Why the Affero GPL". The GNU Project. Archived from the original on 2021-10-23.
- "Funambol Helps New AGPLv3 Open Source License Gain Formal OSI Approval" (Press release). Funambol. Mar 13, 2008. Archived from the original on 2013-06-07.
- The GNU General Public License v3 – GNU Project – Free Software Foundation (FSF)
- Kuhn, Bradley M. (November 21, 2007). "stet and AGPLv3". Software Freedom Law Center. Archived from the original on March 15, 2008. Retrieved June 14, 2008.
- Ronacher, Armin (2013-07-23). "Licensing in a Post Copyright World". lucumr.pocoo.org. Archived from the original on 2013-07-27. Retrieved 2015-11-18.
The AGPLv3 was a terrible success, especially among the startup community that found the perfect base license to make dual licensing with a commercial license feasible. MongoDB, RethinkDB, OpenERP, SugarCRM as well as WURFL all now utilize the AGPLv3 as a vehicle for dual commercial licensing. The AGPLv3 makes that generally easy to accomplish as the original copyright author has the rights to make a commercial license possible but nobody who receives the sourcecode itself through the APLv3 inherits that right. I am not sure if that was the intended use of the license, but that's at least what it's definitely being used for now.
- "Server Side Public License (SSPL)". MongoDB. Archived from the original on 2021-10-23. Retrieved 2021-01-25.
- Vaughan-Nichols, Steven J. "MongoDB "open-source" Server Side Public License rejected". ZDNet. Archived from the original on 2021-10-23. Retrieved 2019-01-17.
- "MongoDB's licensing changes led Red Hat to drop the database from the latest version of its server OS". GeekWire. 2019-01-16. Archived from the original on 2021-10-23. Retrieved 2019-01-17.
- Official website for GNU Affero General Public License (GNU AGPL).
- Smith, Brett (November 19, 2007). "Free Software Foundation Releases GNU Affero General Public License Version 3" (Press release).
- Smith, Brett (March 29, 2007), GPLv3 and Software as a Service – also includes info on version 2 of the Affero GPL.
- Kuhn, Bradley M. (March 19, 2002). "Free Software Foundation Announces Support of the Affero General Public License, the First Copyleft License for Web Services" (Press release).