The AGPL Announced

Today, the Free Software Foundation issued a press release announcing a new type of open source license: the Affero GPL (AGPL).

Basically, the AGPL is GPLv3 with one key addition: source must be shared to network users. This means if your favorite web application were to be released under the AGPL, any changes you make to it, even if just for your website, must be published.

Think of this hypothetical situation: You run a WordPress blog. WordPress 3.0 is released under the AGPL, and you decide to run it on your site. But, you make a modification to it. You must now publish your source code to WordPress.

For web applications that use this, it means that any changes can easily be shared back to the main project and possibly speed up development. The only restriction is that you must publish your changes: it can be tedious to publish every revision, taking out passwords and private files, etc. In this way, it might be discouraging to webmasters to download an AGPL program, as they would have to take care of all this. Nothing is released under this license yet, so we can not see any effects for sure.

Avatar for jacob Jacob Peddicord -

Jacob is a web developer, student, and programmer from Ohio. He is a staff member at the Ubuntu Forums and is most likely a fanboy of the distribution. He loves to write in code and words, play video games, and rant about topics most would have abandoned long ago. Jacob uses GNOME and is never seen running stable software, much to the demise of his laptop.

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