GNU Affero General Public License

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The AGPLv3 license logo

The GNU Affero General Public License ( AGPL ) is a license for free software with copyleft , in which the users of the software must be given a download option for the source text even if the software is only operated as a service on a server, i.e. not directly for download is offered. In doing so, the AGPL closes the ASP loophole of the GNU General Public License .

ASP loophole

In the GNU General Public License (GPL) there is an ASP loophole (English ASP loophole ) designated gap, according to the company, a GPL software only in hosting or as an application service provider does not offer (ASP), the source code have to pass on. As a result, the company has a monopoly on all extensions and improvements that it builds into the software, as neither competitors nor users who want to operate the software themselves have a legal claim to it. With the GPL, there is only a legal claim to the source text if the executable file is passed on.

The AGPL closes this loophole by guaranteeing that users who use the software over a network can also download the source code.

License text

The AGPL is based on the license text of the GPL, extended by section 13, which closes the ASP loophole and ensures the compatibility of GPL v3 and AGPL v3: The connection of code under the GPL v3 and AGPL v3 licenses is possible, the additional obligation for the publication of the source texts of the AGPL, however, those parts that are under the GPL also apply.

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) favors the use of the AGPL over the GPL. Originally there were plans to integrate a corresponding clause directly into GPL v3, but this was rejected by many users as impractical.


The GNU AGPL v3 ( Edition 3 , English version 3 ) is a public license of the FSF . The previous editions (AGPL v1 and v2) were published by Affero , albeit with the support of the FSF, and are therefore not compatible with the corresponding editions of the GNU GPL . The AGPL v2 is however upwardly compatible with the GNU AGPL v3, as it contains a corresponding clause. This clause is also the reason for keeping the name "Affero" in the official GNU version of the license.

Software under AGPL

A selection of software under the AGPL license:

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. MongoDB changes the license. heise developer , October 16, 2018, accessed on February 15, 2019 .
  2. SugarCRM changes to Affero GPL. heise open , April 16, 2010, accessed on December 19, 2010 .
  3. New UCS version with integrated virtualization tool. In: heise Open. heise Verlag, August 31, 2010, accessed on September 2, 2010 : "However, with version 2.4 Univention is changing from the previous GPL to the somewhat expanded Affero General Public License (AGPLv3)."