Follow

Fun fact about the license under which the Mastodon source code is published (AGPL) is that it requires any modifications to it to be published.

No secret sauce, no proprietary features possible. Which is why commercial companies hate this license.

Want to paywall "pro" features? You can, but anyone can take your code and run it on a different server for free.

Anyway, that's quite an interesting financial choice for Gab, a for-profit entity that sells "pro" features

Because Mastodon does not have a Copyright License Agreement (CLA) that contributors have to sign before submitting code, I am not the sole copyright holder of the Mastodon source code--rather, contributors keep rights to their parts. As such, violation of AGPLv3 is not just a violation of my own rights, but of all past contributors to Mastodon.

Show thread

@Gargron Awesome! I've been wondering if anyone used the AGPL in practice. Good on you.

@geist @Gargron There are several popular real-world practical products distributed under the AGPLv3! Here are the most prominent examples:

* Mastodon (as you noticed)
* GNU Ghostscript, IIUC almost the first software to use the AGPLv1
* Friendica, PeerTube, GNU Social, Diaspora
* Berkeley DB
* NextCloud
* MuPDF
* SugarCRM
* RethinkDB
* Redis Modules by Redis Labs before the 2018 license debacle
* MongoDB before the 2018 license debacle

@clacke @Gargron @geist it looks like OwnCloud has delusions of grandeur still. But if it's not AGPL I'm even less interested in it

@silvershovel @Gargron @geist

> In March 2019, ownCloud launched the BayernBox in cooperation with the Bavarian State Office for Survey and Geoinformation, an ownCloud-based collaboration solution for the bavarian municipalities.

Huh. Did they hire new developers?

Anyway, yeah, ownCloud is AGPLv3 too.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OwnCloud

@Gargron #AGPL is my favourite licence. It's the most fun when you find something really good under AGPL and are talking about it with a manager or whatever capitalist-y person and they get really excited about it, only for you to drop the #FOSS bomb at the end and watch their smile just shatter.

@Gargron normally i think you're a big stinky, garg, but if you absolutely whip and nae nae on the gablins by forcing them to publish the gab pro source i'd cum my diaper so fast your head would spin
@jg @Gargron i still think it'd be really funny if we all bit the bullet and ran a clone gab instance that offered the pro features free of charge to starve gab of revenue

@uncletrunks @jg @Gargron
Do this, but block every other instance from federating, except for freespeechextremists

@Gargron Wonder if you could get around that with a sort of proxy. Like the requests go through a proxy with the "pro" stuff then hands it off to the original. Wouldn't be touching the sources that way.

@Gargron as far as I’m concerned, @dansup considered the same model to fund his Pixelfed instance, that’s a great model, because it also encourages people to set up their own instances and that’s what Gab devs say they are going to make as easy as possible (managed hosting of course, but installer was mentioned too afair)

@Gargron I mean, for more storage, not additional features

@Gargron the most goofy thing will be witnessing gab userbase tear itself apart over the pro features

@Gargron doesn't that imply it'll have to be re-implemented clean in the future anyways?

@Gargron yes but courts weigh prayers for relief appropriately. someone who controls major parts of the source will have a better case.

@kaniini @Gargron Actually, that was the problem Christoph Hellwig had in its attempt to sue VMware: The German court wasn't willing to believe Hellwig had created a significant part of the Linux kernel.

hear: faif.us/cast/2019/apr/22/0x66/
read: golem.de/news/gpl-klage-klage-

@schmittlauch @Gargron

precisely. that's why really Gargron or maybe Thib need to do it.

@Gargron if you want to set up the liberapay/catarse/etc. legal fund now let us know so we can start contributing for legal fees.

@Gargron
Taking the pro features and merging them into Mastodon would be the ultimate lol. (If they are worth it.)

@MonkeyDRufi @Gargron
right now: creating lists, verification, creating groups and bookmarking posts
develop.gab.com has mastodon lists in its free version, verification is going to be a pro thing, there’s a PR for bookmarks on tootsuite/mastodon, I’m curious about the groups
that’s more of a way to support your favourite platform
they stated they are going to PR their improvements

@MonkeyDRufi @Gargron nope, star is kind of like (which is public) + bookmark (which allows you to find the post later from the UI)

@MonkeyDRufi @Gargron that’s probably the way it works (also glitch-soc bookmarks), I’m not certain, I have never tried gabpro XD

@Gargron lol shut the fuck up gargron u never enforced that shit for garbage like counter.social I doubt you'll start now

@jg @Gargron yeah its missing all their updates and 'pro features' check the commit history

@Gargron for profit social media in general is destined to end up having the same issues as youtube and facebook. Trying to make money by pleasing advertisers and commercial entities etc.

especially once they become publicly traded companies

@Gargron There are many, many freeloaders who will take anything that is seen as 'free' just because they can. If you make something 'free' but actually has some cost to you as the provider, you have to find some way of keeping the freeloaders out... If you can't keep them out, then (at any time) the commercial competition can freeload just to destroy you...

@Gargron hmm... AGPL doesn’t work if the SaaS product modifies Mastodon to, say, make an external request to a proprietary service. They’re obligated to release that modification, but not the service it calls out to. So, yeah, I am glad mastodon uses AGPL, but it’s not a panacea of protection.

@apg @Gargron I don't believe the boundaries of "derivative work" have been tested in court for this particular situation.

But then "we don't know if it works" supports your claim that it doesn't solve everything.

@clacke @Gargron I am pretty sure that “external process munges database to add proprietary feature” is also totally possible, and likely a way around it. But yeah, you’re right. Maybe someone could argue that REST is just a distributed linker. Of course, the feature could be built to “link” against, say, a micro formats API, and the propriety one does more fancy...

@Gargron in fact you can host Gab yourself and have all the pro, verified and sponsor badges

strictly speaking, AGPL does not "require modifications to be published"; it requires them to be made available to users. we're not well served by (frequently incorrect) exaggerations of license requirements

@Gargron Yes, but then do something! You can… so well…

@Gargron that's a slippery slope. Proprietary "pro" features are never good for open source projects.

@Gargron As far as I know about #AGPL, like #GPL, it doesn't require publishing, but this is a form of conveying. One could sell binaries in any medium and put a visible notice offering to ship a CD/DVD/USB storage with the source files, with no extra price than the one of the shipping.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Mastodon

Server run by the main developers of the project 🐘 It is not focused on any particular niche interest - everyone is welcome as long as you follow our code of conduct!