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

@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 I have a feeling they might just pull a jester and just rebase half the commits back without the pro features...

@Gargron enforcement is probably not easy, but i'm sure there will be plenty of people that'll go after gab for free to very affordable

@aurelia @Gargron it would have to be initiated by a copyright holder

@kaniini @Gargron well yes, but I'd guess there are plenty of people in the commit log willing to initiate that

@aurelia @Gargron maybe. my advice would be to reach out to conservancy. they are already live and not compliant with AGPL.

@kaniini @aurelia @Gargron but did they announce this instance address? I think that’s something they intended to be private, I might be wrong

@kaniini @natasha_aurelia
So, I understand that @Gargron violates AGPL license if he locally tests his changes before pushing them to tootsuite/mastodon? Basing on their posts, they didn’t intend to announce it and were surprised by remote follows (and them stating they didn’t intend to make it public would just make the situation even funnier, they wanted to avoid that)

@m4sk1n @Gargron @natasha_aurelia

no. Gargron does not violate AGPL license as he is the principal copyright holder and thus can use it regardless.

@kaniini ‘I am not the sole copyright holder of the Mastodon source code’

@m4sk1n indeed. and in a strict interpretation, he would maybe be vulnerable to litigation from Thib but it'll never happen.

and besides, we are already having the AGPL conversation with Gab. they state they intend to publish the source in concert with launching in production. we will see if they do so, and if they don't, then we move to the next step in enforcing AGPL.

@kaniini I think the fact they changed the link to source code from tootsuite/mastodon to something like gab-ai-inc/gab(-social?) means they will do it. And they stated they will make PRs with their improvements

@kaniini @Gargron I think everyone will benefit from this decision, it’s also the best possible occasion to check whether Mastodon moderation tools are good enough before ActivityPub goes mainstream

@m4sk1n @Gargron they aren't good. that's why I took a different approach in Pleroma.

@kaniini @Gargron and of course Pleroma ones, but I think we all know one can write a perfect mrf policy for everyrhing

@kaniini but let’s assume he is, that would mean if I decided to make a code contributing to Mastodon, testing it on a private instance, I can’t do it before pushing the changes

@kaniini @aurelia I strongly urge @Gargron to dedicate resources to enforcing the AGPL against Gab and any other violators. Perhaps do a crowdfunding campaign specifically towards that effort.

As much as I understand Free software projects trying to keep users safer through domain blocking mechanisms, I think the license enforcement to keep the code Free should take precedence.

gplenforced.org/

@msh @Gargron @aurelia

GPL enforcement does not immediately begin with litigation. If I had non-trivial copyright on Mastodon I would start the process, I guess, since I have no qualms with talking to them.

they claim they intend to become compliant

@kaniini certainly at this point it would be premature to start a lawsuit. That said a Free project of Mastodon's profile and nature should have resources set aside for the possibility, and the orgs mentioned previously could help advise on how to approach Gab about GPL compliance.

And as repugnant as they are, someone MUST talk to let them and make it known Mastodon is serious about license enforcement.

@aurelia @Gargron

@msh @Gargron @aurelia

Pleroma has experience doing AGPL enforcement in this space and if Gargron wants our help we will surely assist him.

@kaniini @msh @Gargron I emailed support at gab dot com to request their work copy. Let's see what happens.

@adfeno @conservancy @Gargron @aurelia @msh

but Gab is presently compliant with AGPL. there are "Gab instances" outside of Gab already on the fediverse.

@kaniini @msh @aurelia @Gargron @conservancy I hope all of the instances, including the software release place, all display or have a visible file containing a notice with offer for complete corresponding source files.

@adfeno @kaniini @msh @aurelia @Gargron Folks are always welcome to write to "compliance at sfconservancy.org" about copyleft violations but as been pointed out already, only the copyright holders have standing to take action.

@kaniini also are they already non-AGPL compliant since they closed reg? I guess one of the existing users would have to request the code by email...

@aurelia it's an instance that is live and anyone can interact with it. AGPL requires publication if you're live. even for a test instance.

@kaniini They don't seem to federate out, I was trying to provoke the server into revealing its origin IP earlier, no dice. But yeah, I guess having the API up is enough.

@kaniini if you have access to an account, could you do me a favor and look up aurelia@deadinsi.de on their search for me? I just want to make sure that'll be the last thing that comes through from their net.

@aurelia lol I don't think they are going to ever give me an account, considering I've been criticizing them for years.

@kaniini ah I mean, they had open reg yesterday, I should've really gotten a test account :/

@kaniini @aurelia @Gargron Normally @conservancy has a quite cooperative way of enforcement with the aim of reaching compliance rather then sueing the shit out of them.
I wonder how painful that'd be when having to somehow cooperate with G💩b…

@schmittlauch @conservancy @Gargron @aurelia

as I said elsewhere we (Pleroma) also have success with enforcing AGPL in this space. and if Gargron wants our assistance we will work on it.

@kaniini Ah, I vaguely remember that fork-rewriteInNode-OopsBroken thing Moodle did and that you probably don't want to be reminded of 😜

@kaniini @aurelia @Gargron actually not only. You can also be any user of the software and can then request access to the source code.

So sign up there and request it. If they don't give it out, your way to sue them is open…

Also see: gpl-violations.org/

@rugk @Gargron @aurelia

and the court will go: "how are you injured by this?"

and the user will go: "I don't have the source code"

and the court will go: "dismissed lol"

@kaniini @aurelia @Gargron well… no…

Because if you are the user and the software is licensed under AGPLv3 *the user* has the right to get access to this. Period.

@kaniini I mean, that's exactly what the license says.

@rugk @Gargron @aurelia

doesn't matter. that's not how courts work. please stop giving out invalid information just because stallman wishes it were so. it's irresponsible.

@kaniini @aurelia @Gargron Sure, you definitively are a lawyer or what?

Rather provide sources or so…

@rugk @Gargron @aurelia

VMware vs. Helwig was dropped just a few months ago because the courts were not convinced that Helwig had enough copyright ownership of the kernel.

And yes, I've done many GPL enforcement actions. I'm not a lawyer but I have significant paralegal experience. You really don't know what you're talking about.

@kaniini @aurelia Yeah, okay, followed that, too. AFAIK their argument was that Helwig just did not contribute too much code to the whole Linux kernel…
Which is understandable.

@rugk @aurelia

yes so some random user who technically is entitled cannot claim sufficient injury. the GPL violations guy wrote most of iptables. GPL violations project goes after routers which use iptables. this is not a coincidence.

@kaniini @aurelia
So taking a step back:
My point was just: **By what the license says** you *as a user* have the right to get access to the source code. #agplv3

What you are apparently talking about is whether that could be enforced in court.
And yeah, … well, maybe not.
Or maybe…

I mean as said: it's pointless to discuss this. Because whether or not it is a violation is the court's actual decision.

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!