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GNU Affero General Public License

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.

GNU Affero General Public License
AGPLv3 Logo.svg
Author Free Software Foundation
Latest version 3
Publisher Free Software Foundation, Inc.
Published November 19, 2007
DFSG compatible Yes[1]
FSF approved Yes[2]
OSI approved Yes[3][4]
GPL compatible Yes (permits linking with GNU GPLv3)[5]
Copyleft Yes[2]
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.[2][5]

The Free Software Foundation has recommended that the GNU AGPLv3 be considered for any software that will commonly be run over a network.[2] The Open Source Initiative approved the GNU AGPLv3[3] as an open source license in March 2008 after the company Funambol submitted it for consideration through its CEO Fabrizio Capobianco.[6]


Compatibility with the GPLEdit

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,[7] despite the licenses otherwise not allowing relicensing under the terms of each other.[2] In this way, the copyleft of each license is relaxed to allow distributing such combinations.[2]

Examples of applications under GNU AGPLEdit

Stet was the first software system known to be released under the GNU AGPL, on November 21, 2007,[8] and is the only known program to be used mainly for the production of its own license.

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.[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Jaspert, Joerg (November 28, 2008). " Is AGPLv3 DFSG-free?". The Debian Project. Retrieved December 1, 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f List of free-software licences on the FSF website: "We recommend that developers consider using the GNU AGPL for any software which will commonly be run over a network."
  3. ^ a b "OSI approved licenses". Open Source initiative. 
  4. ^ "OSI approved", Licenses, TL;DR legal .
  5. ^ a b "Licenses section 13", GNU AGPLv3, GNU Project .
  6. ^ "Funambol Helps New AGPLv3 Open Source License Gain Formal OSI Approval" (Press release). Funambol. Mar 13, 2008. Archived from the original on 2013-06-07. 
  7. ^ The GNU General Public License v3 – GNU Project – Free Software Foundation (FSF)
  8. ^ Kuhn, Bradley M. (November 21, 2007). "stet and AGPLv3". Software Freedom Law Center. Archived from the original on March 15, 2008. Retrieved June 14, 2008. 
  9. ^ Ronacher, Armin (2013-07-23). "Licensing in a Post Copyright World". Retrieved 2015-11-18. 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. 

External linksEdit