I found a number of questions discussing AGPL, but none really speak to the scope of AGPL. In practice, large providers such as Amazon provide AGPL software (e.g., MongoDB) and clearly do not provide source code for their full service architecture (i.e., we cannot self-host our own AGPL version of AWS).

Is there authoritative discussion of where the line gets drawn? My guess is that it's largely similar to GPL proper, where derived / modified works include programs that directly use AGPL code in their runtime. Likewise, I would assume work that runs in a separate process from AGPL software would not be under any obligations to respect AGPL.

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    The problem is that it is not up to the license but up to copyright law to determine what a derivative work is. This will vary by jurisdiction. Additionally, a license can waive the copyright holder's rights over some derivative works, or the licensor and licensee can negotiate a contract that covers more than derivative works (but that makes international enforceability tricky). The AGPL and GPL have the exact same effect on derivative works, the AGPL just has one additional scenario where the source code must be made available.
    – amon
    Feb 14, 2019 at 11:02
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    A related discussion about what the concept of “intimacy” in the (A)GPL means and what a derivative work might be took place last month on the OSI's license-discuss mailing list, you can read my summary here. Bruce Perens pointed out that the FSF will not clarify what they think a derivative work would be because they want to be able to use the maximum interpretation available in any jurisdiction.
    – amon
    Feb 14, 2019 at 11:07
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    Thank you @Amon! If you post something like this as an answer I'd happily accept it
    – Dav Clark
    Feb 14, 2019 at 12:00


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