Server-client based HTTP open-source projects like MongoDB use AGPL/SSPL for their main backend implementation and use a more permissive license for their client so that devs embedding MongoDB clients get a more relaxed license when using MongoDB.

Should the same licensing approach be used for AGPL libraries? Should all public interfaces, classes, methods etc provided by the library be of a more permissive license so AGPL does not apply when using the library?

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    If it is a pure library then it seems like one of the library-specific type licenses like the LGPL would be more appropriate. Really depends on your point of view and who you think needs the most freedom - the dev (LGPL) or the end user (AGPL).
    – ivanivan
    Commented Jul 13, 2019 at 13:57

1 Answer 1


Licensing decisions on code are largely up to the code's developer. Some free software developers love the effortless re-usability that non-copyleft licences give, others love the feeling that they're contributing to an open community that the copyleft licences give. Although I have my preferences about which should be used, it's really up to the people doing the legwork of creating the code.

If you have a library that you want to use, but you can't because it's AGPL and you want to make non-free code out of it, then I'm sorry, but live with it; the creators of that library have been clear that they don't want their library used that way. Whether you, or I, think that they were wrong to want that is not, in my opinion, really material.

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