|Author||Free Software Foundation|
|Publisher||Free Software Foundation, Inc.|
|Published||November 19, 2007|
|GPL compatible||Yes (permits linking with GNU GPLv3)|
|Linking from code with a different license||Only with GNU GPLv3. The GNU AGPL terms will apply for the GNU AGPL part in a combined work.|
The GNU Affero General Public License is a free, copyleft license published by the Free Software Foundation in November 2007, and based on the GNU General Public License, version 3 and the Affero General Public License.
The Free Software Foundation has recommended that the GNU AGPLv3 be considered for any software that will commonly be run over a network. The Open Source Initiative approved the GNU AGPLv3 as an open source license in March 2008 after the company Funambol submitted it for consideration through its CEO Fabrizio Capobianco.
GNU AGPLv3 and GPLv3 licenses each include clauses (in section 13 of each license) that together achieve a form of mutual compatibility for the two licenses. These clauses explicitly allow the "conveying" of a work formed by linking code licensed under the one license against code licensed under the other license, despite the licenses otherwise not allowing relicensing under the terms of each other. In this way, the copyleft of each license is relaxed to allow distributing such combinations.
Flask developer Armin Ronacher noted in 2013 that the GNU AGPL is a "terrible success, especially among the startup community" as a "vehicle for dual commercial licensing" and gave Humhub, MongoDB, OpenERP, RethinkDB, Shinken, Slic3r, SugarCRM, and WURFL as examples.
The Dyne.org FOSS group who created Devuan have used the AGPL for software projects such as FreeJ and Frei0r. An article on the group's website notes the incompatibility between the AGPL and the EPL license used for Clojure.
The AGPLv3 was a terrible success, especially among the startup community that found the perfect base license to make dual licensing with a commercial license feasible. MongoDB, RethinkDB, OpenERP, SugarCRM as well as WURFL all now utilize the AGPLv3 as a vehicle for dual commercial licensing. The AGPLv3 makes that generally easy to accomplish as the original copyright author has the rights to make a commercial license possible but nobody who receives the sourcecode itself through the APLv3 inherits that right. I am not sure if that was the intended use of the license, but that's at least what it's definitely being used for now.
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