Ubuntu's Launchpad to go AGPL?

Canonical is considering releasing Launchpad under the AGPL open-source license. This would be a very big win for the AGPL.

I've written about Launchpad , Ubuntu's software hosting and development website that enables collaboration across multiple projects, but I'm even more excited now that Mark Shuttleworth is strongly considering releasing it under the AGPL (Affero GPL). Launchpad is very cool. Keeping it open in a networked world makes it even cooler.

The choice of AGPL - which specifically covers software offered as a networked service - would be appropriate for Launchpad. It would also add some much-needed credibility to AGPL, which has come in for criticism from Chris DiBona, Google's open source program manager. DiBona has said he wants to see more examples of AGPL in action before deciding whether Google supports the license. Google has closed the door to AGPL on its Google Code host site, forcing projects that use the license to leave.

Indeed. Ubuntu is about as close to the cool kid at school as one gets in open source, and Launchpad is at the heart of Ubuntu. This would be a big win for the AGPL.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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