License question

I would like to use your full-text library in a commercial application. Would I become required to freely distribute my entire source code if I did so? That’s the way I’m reading the APGL documentation, but then you offer a business license, so I’m confused. Any help appreciated.

Hi Robert,

Full-Text RSS is not really a library, but a standalone web service which you install and manage yourself. You can use is as part of your commercial application, but you will be making HTTP calls to your copy of Full-Text RSS from your application, rather than including it as a library. That’s how we designed it to be used. It’s similar to incorporating a third party web service in your application - except in this case we’re giving you the web service to run yourself.

The intention with the AGPL license is to prevent people running a copy of our service while not providing users with the source code. If you’re using it as a component of your application, you’re not really offering it directly to your users, so we don’t expect you to make it available. Nor do we see it affecting your existing license if used in the way it’s designed to be used (as a web service, rather than a library).

Hope that explains our intention with the license.

So, if someone did have intention of using you software internally within a distributable application, how might your AGPL license be applied to that (is this embedded library usage allowable?)?

To better explain, I have an idea for a product which needs to be able to ‘trim’ a website’s content back to something simpler, but from the end user’s own machine (this is mainly to avoid the traffic to my own servers). So, your PHP code would actually be working on the end-user’s machine, so, effectively, MANY copies of your code would be in ‘play’, not simply a web-service hosted by myself.

What might your licensing mean to the commercialization an effort like that?

Might you offer a more “commercial friendly” license?


David Vogel

David, thanks for the question. I’m not really sure how the AGPL should be interpreted in this case. It’s not a use we’ve really thought about. But generally speaking, our intention with the license is to prevent someone offering the Full-Text RSS service itself without giving the users the code. In cases where customers want to build on the output of Full-Text RSS, e.g. take the extracted content and do something else with it, we don’t have an issue. So I don’t see an issue with what you’ve described. It simply changes where the code is executed. I’d just suggest buying the business version (which is same license, but aimed at those who intend to make money from it).

Hope that’s a little help.