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"Software should break free from the enslaving chains of copyrights"

Copyrights are actually the foundation of the GPL license. So, in reality Richard Stallman is not totally against copy rights, but against certain abuses of it.

See here:
and here:


Ok you're right, I should have written: "Software should break free from the enslaving chains of copyright as we know it today" (done)


I don't get why the GPL 2 -> GPL 3 -> AGPL 3 you are proposing would happen. Wouldn't SaaS providers fork instead of shooting themselves in the foot like that? Also, remember most of the interesting software in the scalability/reliability area was written by these providers and offered to the community as a gift, so it doesn't matter what others think, because they retain all IP rights.

Besides that, I don't see Linux, FreeBSD, or the Apache server changing licenses any time soon. Do you?


Forking? But then who would follow a company that would initiate a fork only because they want to continue to selfishly (i.e. w/o providing back the source) harvest the fruits of a labor which is not their?

Going GPLv3:

Linux or FreeBSD probably not (especially BSD :) ) but there are plenty of GPLed applications used on top of them and offered as SaaS. And most of them have a GPL license saying GPLv2 or LATER ...

thomas lackner


When the clause says "..or later", they mean that the *user* of the software can pick a later version of the license, not that the developer can randomly revoke your rights and force you to adapt to AGPLv3+.

And there have been many projects that have been forked or rewritten due to licensing issues. This is going to be yet another nail in the coffin of GPL, the "freedom" license that removes everyone's freedom.

Milking the GNU

Well, GPL licensing is not about giving more freedom to developers but rather to the software itself and as a side-effect to the users.

Besides, the GPL itself is doing good, even the GPLv3: see here ( http://gpl3.palamida.com:8080/index.jsp ) , a linear adoption rate.

Finally ask yourself the question: what would be the landscape today without the GPL?

Blaise Alleyne

"Of course Google could also choose to release most of their SaaS source code but then it would only accelerate Microsoft's Internet effort."

How? Do you honestly think Microsoft would use AGPL code? They'd have to release the source too! They think that's cancerous!

@marcos: Sure,they can fork, but they can't just change the license. They're still subject to its terms.

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