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Two new entries for the GNU Licenses FAQ

by Donald Robertson Contributions Published on Mar 13, 2018 10:53 AM
Our GNU Licenses FAQ received two new entries; plus, an update to another entry is updated.

We recently made some new additions to our resource Frequently Asked Questions about the GNU Licenses (FAQ). The FAQ is one of our most robust articles, covering common questions for using and understanding GNU licenses. We are always looking to improve our materials, so this week we've made some fresh updates.

The first is an update to our entry on using works under the GNU General Public License (GPL) on a Web site. This entry explains that people are free to use modified versions of GPL'ed works internally without releasing source code, and that using GPL'ed code to run your site is just a special case of that. The problem was that the entry went on to explain how things are different when it comes to the Affero GNU General Public License (AGPL). That transition in the old entry wasn't quite as elegant as we would have liked, and so people were often writing to us to ask for clarification. They were getting confused about whether the comments on the AGPL also applied to the GPL. So we've updated that entry, and moved the information on the AGPL to its own entry. The updated text and new entry were both created by long-time licensing team volunteer Yoni Rabkin.

We also added a new entry on containers. The entry just reaffirms that the analysis for whether two things form a single work is unchanged by the fact that containers are involved.

We always want to keep improving our licensing materials, to make it easier for users to understand their rights under free licenses. We hope these new additions will bring greater clarity, but if there is something you are still not sure about, you can always ask us directly at Your question could even be the inspiration for another new entry in the FAQ someday!

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