Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/20/affero_fsf_license/

FSF thickens license soup for SaaS


By Phil Manchester

Posted in The Channel, 20th November 2007 18:42 GMT

The complicated world of open source licensing has become a bit more complicated, as the Free Software Foundation (FSF) announced details of the final version of its Affero General Public License GPL (AGPL).

The so-called Affero clause was originally considered earlier this year for inclusion in the revamped GPL3 license but the idea was controversially abandoned in favour of a separate license.

The license plugs a loophole in the original GPL3 that had allowed companies to circumvent one of the central principles of open source development. By claiming that network server software - such as software as a service (SaaS) - was not covered, they could use and enhance open source components without returning the improvements to the open source pool.®