steckerhalter 🇨🇭

So Google detests the AGPL license: going as far as to demand this:

"Do not install AGPL-licensed programs on your workstation, Google-issued laptop, or Google-issued phone without explicit authorization from the Open Source Programs Office."

So to degooglify the internet everyone should choose AGPL for open source projects :)

@steckerhalter For anything which runs on a server anyhow. I don't know if it would make sense to use AGPL for things on clients.

@bob well, just for the sake of making it unusable for google as a whole unless they change their policy 😀

@bob @steckerhalter But does it actually hurt to use AGPL for client stuff? Other than annoying the googles, which is a public good.

@TheMysteriousEm @steckerhalter Since I'm not a copyright lawyer I don't know the answer to this, but it would be interesting to know. I would switch any existing GPL projects to AGPL if that doesn't cause problems. I don't mind it being a problem for Google though. That's a feature.



My understanding is that it is just a GPLv3 apart from counting "interactions over network" the same as disturbing binaries when it comes to requiring distribution of sources.

So it could be mildly inconvenient to have to publish your local patches to your AGPL irc/mail/foo client, but no real showstopper.

Personally I am mostly involved with server stuff anyway, and there AGPL is a very good default choice.

@TheMysteriousEm @bob well, the difference is... you can run modified GPL'd code on a server and not make the changes available, but with AGPL you have to. for client programs it really doesn't matter much and AGPL should be no problem since the code is usually public anyway

Exactly, for server code it is a clear win for free software with AGPL over GPL, for client code it doesn't matter as much.

Now, for libraries where code reuse in many different projects is important, I'd probably choose a weaker license though.

@steckerhalter What's so special about this license? Why aren't they prohibiting other "similar" licenses?

@ralph with GPL (for example) you can take some code, modify it and run it on a server without making the changes available. AGPL doesn't allow this. since Google is running loads of modified open source server software without making the changes available, AGPL is often against their business interests. another issue is is probably that Googlers who are ignorant of what AGPL software requires could get Google into lots of trouble.

@steckerhalter actually, that's likely to have the opposite effect as desired: those of us in the company who continually push for open source engangement have our argument made harder when base libraries are AGPL. So far, that's been rare. But, when it comes up, it's painful enough that we tend to reimplement whatever the component is. That's bad for everyone.

No one can argue that Google--so far--hasn't contributed to open source project is big ways.

@jasondclinton imagine most of the open source software would be AGPL. would Google rewrite everything from scratch? probably not. Google would eventually start to change the policy and use AGPL software

@steckerhalter most likely outcome would be that Google would go more proprietary. There is some source code that can never be open source given the current business model.

@jasondclinton maybe. btw, "degoolify" is used as a term (AFAIK) to denote the effort to transition to the and move away from corporations in general, not just Google. To hinder these corporations from being able to use open source software could have positive effects. They would increasingly work in their silos and their influence on open source software would dwindle. Meanwhile the open source projects could flourish apart from business interests of big corporations.

@steckerhalter @jasondclinton I'm late on this but ... Hey, Google is even rewriting their own operating system piece by piece, moving functionality from Android to proprietary apps and services. And they're working on new kernels to replace that sore thumb of a GPLv2 piece at the center. They can afford to just not touch AGPL.

@clacke @jasondclinton maybe they can afford it, but the world is changing, is catching up with software, is helping a lot there. once realize it's much better for them to use FOSS instead of proprietary software loads of money will stream into projects like etc.

@jasondclinton @steckerhalter the problem is that google ALSO has restrictions on using GPL-based in any way that would require them to comply with the licenses. the only difference between GPL and AGPL is that google primarily distributes code over the network so their policies are written with that in mind.

@steckerhalter Free Software, under the GPL3 or AGPL3. Google totally hate those.

@h @steckerhalter apple ships an rsync so old that it can't read non-ascii filenames because they hate the GPL3 so much, which is hilarious


More hilarity: Support for some Apple-specific extended attributes is only in rsync versions Apple won't ship.

@steckerhalter @h

I actually didn't know AGPL existed. I'll have to stay using that


keep in mind if EVERYBODY does it all at once they're going to start trying to find legal arguments to weaken it somehow, and they have an army of flesh eating lawyers

so start with things you DEFINITELY don't want them near -- your ML stuff, NLP stuff, most important projects of yours first

pick your defenses, let it happen as the tide would come in -- if it's a tsunami they'll decide it's worth attacking properly, I fear

@deejoe @steckerhalter

I don't think they're going to this coming week, but that's going to be a question of access

if they find they've got less and less access to open software, they will

but maybe by then enough important open software will be out that getting their way in court will be harder and harder

a girl can dream

@sydneyfalk @deejoe I don't think they will try to get access to software via lawyers. it is more likely that they just develop it internally hence alienating themselves from FOSS


When I encountered this bug a couple of years ago, I was trying to clone a whole disk image. The did indeed have a tool that did the job, different from rsync in plenty of ways.


@steckerhalter Did any projects managed to become part of Google Summer of Code or Google Code-in?

@saper @saper Yes, a couple (amahi platform, catrobat).

Many projects still choose GPL license.

@steckerhalter sounds to me like they want more BSD/MIT licensed software 😀
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