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Looking for a license that covers public network service, like AGPLv3, but like LGPL isn't infectious.

Basically I wrote some useful helper functions I want to allow to be used in any work, including closed-source software, but I want to require improvements to MY CODE to be released back to me and the general public.

Can you recommend a suitable license?

It should also include some of the other AGPL-permitted restrictions (attribution, indemnity), either in the license text or as permitted variations.

EDIT: I should clarify that this software consists only of header files (it is rather template-heavy). So the LGPL obligations of users would be attribution and an offer to provide a copy of the (possibly modified) header file(s) used, per section 3. LGPL section 4 requirements to be enable the user to relink don't appear to apply to header files.

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1 Answer 1

From this SO answer:

Hi Benjamin,

I'm sorry for the late response to this message. Because we are a non-profit organization with very limited resources, messages to this address often get backlogged, and we are always working hard to keep up.

While we can certainly understand the need for a Lesser AGPL (you're not the first person to ask for this), it turns out that it's a very difficult thing to write. There is no guarantee that simply replacing GPL with AGPL in the LGPLv3 would be legally sound and so creating a Lesser AGPL would require quite a lot of work consulting with specialized lawyers.

The "unofficial LAGPL" that you point to looks like a reasonable approach (AGPLv3 + extra Section 7 permission) and it does sound like it would meet your requirements, but we cannot officially endorse it until we have received appropriate legal advice.

Unfortunately these things take a lot of time and at this stage, we don't know when we'll be able to tackle this issue.

Please note that this is not legal advice.

Cheers, Francois

Hence, you can try the "unofficial LAGPL" (AGPLv3 + extra Section 7 permission) but you should understand the potential problems.

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Thanks Vitor. I'll wait a little while to see if anyone else knows of any vetted license, maybe written by a different group. But this looks like a good fallback. –  Ben Voigt Mar 14 '11 at 23:27

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