We have an old proprietary service that contains automated tests and they run in our CI & CD infrastructure. In order to run these tests, we are dependent on the old NUnit.Parallel and this executable is distributed with the ServiceStack.Text.dll that contains and AGPL License but with a FOSS Exception.

The license at Github has the following clause:

The Derivative Work and its Additions are intended for use in end-user applications and do not constitute software intended for use by software developers, such as software libraries, components, and development kits.

So, in the end, am I distributing the code or serving it via the network (breaking the AGPL compliance)? The final package doesn't use or contains the NUnit.Parallel so I'm assuming that we aren't beeing not-compliant because we are not redistributing the derivated work of the ServiceStack.Text.dll.

Am I right? The Black Duck is warning us because of this.

  • The code that runs within your service and the code that is sent to a user's computer are very likely separate works under copyright; any license obligations on one does not affect that other. It's not clear to me what ends up on a user's computer and what never ends up on a user's computer. It seems that you send users an executable that includes an AGPL library; does that executable contain any of your own code, or code by others that is under an AGPL-incompatible license? Does your back-end code make use of AGPL-licensed code?
    – apsillers
    Jan 14, 2020 at 14:31
  • @apsillers thanks for the reply. No, only the NUnit.Parallel contains a dependency to an AGPL-License and the NUnit.Parallel is used only in our automated tests pipeline. The final service, the one that will be deployed, only contains our code and has no references to NUnit.Parallel or any AGPL License.
    – andre
    Jan 14, 2020 at 15:04

1 Answer 1


The AGPL requires source-sharing only when someone interacts with a service that is based on AGPL-licensed code (or, when you physically distribute work that includes AGPL-licensed code). If no end users interact with your test-enabled version of the service that includes AGPL-licensed code, then there is no one to whom you are required to send the source code.

It is worth nothing that your quoted section of the ServiceStack terms is a requirement within an additional permission on top of the AGPL. The first paragraph in that section says:

The Exception extends AGPLv3 by providing additional grants [...] provided that...

So if you wish to operate within the normal requirements of the AGPL (and you may do so safely, per the first paragraph of this answer), you may ignore this additional permission entirely and you may remain unconcerned with what this additional permission requires to be employed validly.

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