[d at DCC] Enforceability of the AGPL (was: Canadian law on software disassembly)
denver at ossguy.com
Tue Mar 25 19:08:25 EDT 2008
On Wed, Mar 19, 2008 at 9:55 PM, Russell McOrmond <russell at flora.ca> wrote:
> Now, if you really want to get into something controversial that is
> related to your question we can talk about the legitimacy and
> enforceability of the AGPL.
> I know I would be on the side of someone defending against section 13
> of the AGPL in a Canadian court as I wouldn't want Canadian Copyright
> law to be expanded by precedent to be even more broad by an ill-advised
> and short-sighted license that attacks the right of private
> modification. Private modification should be fully protected under
> Canadian law (IE: never need permission/payment, be entirely carved out
> of Copyright and patent law, and that licenses which try to deny private
> modification be unenforceable/nullified).
Personally, I think it depends what you mean by private modification.
The sort of private modification that the AGPL discusses, where you
privately modify source code and then provide a service to other
people using that code, does not seem like it should fall into the
same category as modifying a program for personal use and then keeping
it to yourself. When other users besides the person who performed the
private modification come into play, the situation should be treated
differently than just strict private modifications that no one else
sees or uses.
I appreciate the intent of the AGPL (to require the source code for a
service to be distributed to its users if it is derived from an
AGPL-licensed program). I have in fact used it for a project of mine
(ABM Locator: http://ossguy.com/abmlocator/) so I am naturally
concerned about the enforceability of the AGPL and, if it is
enforceable, its consequences for fair use.
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