An enterprise utilizes the source code of a network software product licensed under the AGPL v3. It modifies the source code but does not share the changes with the original developer and copyright holder, and keeps the changes private. It then hosts the modified version within its servers, but does not distribute the source code as a bundle to any third parties. It allows a closed group of its authenticated customers (not the general public) to interact with this modified product - via web services - fronted through a web portal of the enterprise.

Is the enterprise violating any of the terms of the AGPL v3? If so, which exactly?

1 Answer 1


The company in question has to follow the terms of the AGPL, in particular section 13:

Notwithstanding any other provision of this License, if you modify the Program, your modified version must prominently offer all users interacting with it remotely through a computer network (if your version supports such interaction) an opportunity to receive the Corresponding Source of your version by providing access to the Corresponding Source from a network server at no charge, through some standard or customary means of facilitating copying of software. This Corresponding Source shall include the Corresponding Source for any work covered by version 3 of the GNU General Public License that is incorporated pursuant to the following paragraph.

This means that any (authenticated) user accessing the service must be able to obtain the source code, including modifications, of any modified component licensed under the AGPL or the GPL (the AGPL extends to the GPL when GPL works are combined with AGPL works). Not only that, but the web portal must prominently notify the users of this possibility.

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    The key point is the definition of a user. An employee would not be considered a user in this case IMHO. But I would consider a closed group of customers as users where the "network clause" of the AGPL would apply. Jun 24, 2016 at 8:08

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