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edward 13 days ago | hide | past | favorite



Remember, 99% of the time someone doesn't like copyleft, it's because they want to use someone else's free work in their own non-free thing.

> However, this hasn’t really worked: most vendors of cloud software simply refuse to use AGPL-licensed software, and either use a different implementation with a more permissive license, or re-implement the necessary functionality themselves, or buy a commercial license that comes without the copyleft clauses.

If that's what happens, then I don't see how any other license could do any better.


And shows the AGPL solves the loophole that the GPL has.

So if a company refuses to use AGPL because they don't to respect the user freedom to see the code... Then is good they go searching for some other software with other license.


+1. AGPL demonstrates excellent forward thinking. We need more AGPL software.


The call for MIT / Apache 2.0 licensing at the end of the post was surprising, given the issues that the author outlined.

Grafana and Minio have both moved to AGPL / dual licensing from permissive licenses to stimulate licensing sales and revenue. As the maintainer of OpenFaaS, it's been a struggle to correct the balance of corporations freeloading [0] vs. contributing code or finances.

GitHub Sponsors has also given very mixed results [1]

In the same week we saw the maintainer of a popular OSS work almost throw in the towel [2]

After 5 years, we're starting to see customer interest in paying for OpenFaaS - but only by holding new features and enhancements back i.e. Open Core.

There are still problems with this approach, and paying customers end up funding all the R&D required for the free users - amongst other things like competition from hobbyist users who covet features that are more appropriate in production than on your Raspberry Pi cluster.

[0] https://github.com/openfaas/faas/blob/master/ADOPTERS.md [1] https://twitter.com/alexellisuk/status/1479870599853924352?s... [2] https://www.theregister.com/2022/01/13/opensource_apacheplc4...


A little bit of sleight of hand in this article, acknowledged by the author but I think minimized.

The AGPL and GPL are insufficient. Agreed. Therefore, no need to use them; use BSD et al instead. This second claim is basically tacked on and not really argued meaningfully.

Isn't it better to use AGPL and advocate for regulation both?


Tldr; the author argues that the cloud aspect of current software is the bad part, the license of the software is irrelevant and hence the GPL is irrelevant, proposes we run software primarily on on our own machines, and doesn't seem to realize that this would result in the same situation as the 90s which necessitated the GPL in the first place.

One of the author's big points is that the GPL doesn't solve the real issue of cloud services. (See the AGPL comment about an alternative).

> Google and other cloud services may suddenly suspend your account with no warning and no recourse [...] Thus, you could suddenly find yourself permanently locked out of every document you ever created on Google Docs or another app.

What he sees as the solution to this (and what he researches) is what he calls local-first software. "Local-first software runs on your own computer, and stores its data on your local hard drive, while also retaining the convenience of cloud software"

> It is nice for local-first software to also be open source, but this is not necessary: 90% of its benefits apply equally to closed-source local-first software.

He spends a lot of time on this, and outright states (see above) that whether it's closed-source or not doesn't have a big impact on what he sees as the "real" problem.

What I don't think he realizes is that local-first software IS WHERE WE CAME FROM. It's closed-source software running on you machine which you cannot edit.


(2021)




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