Monday, February 04, 2008

We have submitted AGPL to OSI

If you follow open source, or at least this blog, you remember the debate around GPL and the ASP loophole. In a nutshell, companies using a trick to avoid returning changes to the code back to the community. The last chapter is that AGPL v3 (the GPL version that fixes the ASP loophole) was finalized in November, and we switched the Funambol project to it.

One thing I mentioned back in April was that we would do it, as long as AGPL was approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI).

I wrote:
AGPLv1 is not OSI-approved. The OSI is an important element of the ecosystem. AGPLv2 (and GPLv3, for that matter) must be OSI approved. I am sure this could be done quickly.
I found out that the Free Software Foundation (which smartly chose to skip v2 and give AGPL the same version number of GPL v3) does not submit its licenses to the OSI for approval. Do not ask me why, but I have a feeling ;-)

Therefore, someone else has to do it. For GPL v3, it was Google. For AGPL v3, it was Funambol (last week).

Quite an interesting story...

Big Google, a company that could not stand the ASP loophole because they built their entire business on it, manages to get that provision out of GPL v3 and runs to get it approved by the OSI (BTW, it was approved).

Now it is the Funambol turn. Hoping more people will choose AGPL versus GPL, because giving hosters and portals a free lunch is just a bad idea. If they want to use it for free, at least get their code back. So many people have no idea how important would be for them to switch to AGPL, but I do not have the marketing dollars of Google to evangelize it (and mine is just a personal battle for open source, therefore my marketing people will not fund me anyway ;-) So, it is still a free lunch for Google...

Now let me hope the OSI approves the AGPL v3 license :-)