Moodle ripped off, should switch to Affero GPLv3

Roberto reports about the Lazio e-Citizen project chose Moodle to deliver courses to educate elderly citizens (age 60 and more) to use computers and Internet, but they don’t say that openly.’  I found it offensive, that AICA and all the other groups involved in the project failed not only to give credit to the Moodle project, but they also created artificial requirements for the solution’  making it look like the training lessons need Windows 2000 or later versions and for the browser: Internet Explorer 6.0 or superior.’  Goodbye browser interoperability, farewell Moodle’s effort to be platform independent.

It’s annoying to realize that Moodle was exploited so radically, it feels like a rip off. To give credit to the developers of the Free Software you use to deliver your services is the least you can and should do.’  You should also contribute back your changes and learn to be a good citizen in the digital world, where freedom must be preserved.’  I think the Affero GPLv3 is a better license for Moodle and other web based software as the best way to protect their asset from such rip off. Funambol wisely chose it immediately and more projects are using it, too.’  Credibility and reputation are between the most important assets for Free Software developers and they should be guarded properly.

Probably, even if Moodle used the AGPLv3, it may have not prevented the Lazio eCitizen project from hiding it under the hood but at least it may have forced them to release back their changes. I suspect we will see more of these misguided/misinformed uses of Free Software in the future. We should get the best legal protection and get ready to educate people to behave correctly.

Give the GNU GPL an ‘A’, as in Affero

The GNU Affero General Public License v3 is now officially an ‘open source’ license, approved by the Open Source Initiative.

Funambol started the approval process of the best license available to protect copyleft, and business based on it, from predatory practices. Fabrizio (Funambol’s CEO) celebrates the sweet victory on his blog mentioning the ‘strange’ coincidence of Google caring only for GPL. For Google the ASP loophole is the key to their business, while they don’t like the A of Affero.

It’s a good day for all the companies that use the AGPLv3. I found some like Wavemaker, OSSDiscovery, Colosa and I wish Palamida started tracking AGPLv3 adoption too (Update: Blackduck Software already tracks AGPLv3 adoption). Here Funambol’s full press release with quote from Wavemaker’s CEO and Eben Moglen.

Update (thanks to Andi Zink):’  Doug Levin’s post contains more software licensed under AGPL.