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Re: When is a GPL program which runs in a web site 'conveyed'?

From: Tim Smith
Subject: Re: When is a GPL program which runs in a web site 'conveyed'?
Date: Sun, 06 Jul 2008 14:50:48 -0700
User-agent: MT-NewsWatcher/3.5.3b2 (Intel Mac OS X)

In article <XdYbk.66059$>,
 Hyman Rosen <> wrote:
> > Because of 17 USC 117, and the interpretation of the scope of that in
> > the case law, most use of AGPL software in a software as a service
> > environment will NOT involve "modifying" the software as defined by
> > AGPL, and you won't be required to make your changes available.
> 1) Not every place is the United States, and it's quite possible
>     that this requirement would be upheld in countries with strong
>     "creator's rights" provisions.
> 2) It shows the intent of the licensor. Violators would at least
>     have their reputations damaged, and with the internet that can
>     be no small thing.
> 3) Even a U.S. court might be unsympathetic to a defendant who
>     argued that removing the AGPL requirement was essential for
>     the operation of the program; a violator would run some risk.

I think you've overlooked what the AGPL itself says.  It explicitly says 
that if what you are doing is allowed by copyright law, it is NOT 
"modifying" as far as the AGPL is concerned.  That's the intent of the 

If they had wanted something stronger, they could have easily written 
the license to define modification as being any change from the original.

--Tim Smith

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