[sf-lug] Free software talk

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Dec 18 18:01:36 PST 2008

Quoting Bill Kendrick (nbs at sonic.net):
> On Thu, Dec 18, 2008 at 11:08:55AM -0800, Rick Moen wrote:
> > Copyleft licences tend to impose that obligation only if you have
> > _distributed_ your modified version to others, or in some cases if
> > you've deployed it for public use even if you haven't distributed
> > it.
> The latter part is GPL 3, right?  (The 'TiVo' clause, or whatever.)

I was actually thinking of Affero GPL, not GPLv3.  I believe you're
confusing anti-tivoisation and deployment clauses.

Affero GPL ("AGPL") is one of several licences containing clauses that
makes public deployment trigger a copyleft obligation.  This is one
possible response to the rise of "Web 2.0" / hosted-app / Software as a
Service (Saas) companies:  E.g., I found a host to commercially exploit
someone else's GPL application, and I extensively modify it.  GPL
requires a source code shareback only if I _distribute_ my version --
but the SaaS market model deploys software (makes it accessible over 
networks) without distribution.

GPLv3's anti-tivoisation clause #3 is something different:

    3. Protecting Users' Legal Rights From Anti-Circumvention Law.
    No covered work shall be deemed part of an effective technological
    measure under any applicable law fulfilling obligations under article 11
    of the WIPO copyright treaty [RM: e.g., DMCA]   [snip rest]

My recollection is that FSF _considered_ rolling Affero GPL's deployment
language into GPLv3, and I vaguely remember that being in one of the
GPLv3 drafts, but they decided to be conservative and hold off on that.
Affero GPL _was_, however, itself updated to incorporate various GPLv3 
improvements, and is listed as a licence to consider.

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