#Google is known to be deathly allergic to the AGPL license ▻https://opensource.google.com/docs/using/agpl-policy. Not only on servers; they don’t even allow employees to use #AGPL software on workstations. If you write free software, and you’d prefer that Google not use it, a good way to ensure that is to license it under the AGPL.
I normally try to respect the privacy of users of my software, and of personal conversations. But at this point, I feel that Google’s behavior has mostly obviated those moral obligations. So...
Now seems like a good time to mention that I have been contacted by multiple people at Google about several of my AGPL licensed projects (git-annex and either keysafe or debug-me I can’t remember which) trying to get me to switch them to the #GPL, and had long conversations with them about it.
Google has some legal advice that the AGPL source provision triggers much more often than it’s commonly understood to. I encouraged them to make that legal reasoning public, so the community could address/debunk it, but I don’t think they have. I won’t go into details about it here, other than it seemed pretty bonkers.
Mixing in some AGPL code with an otherwise GPL codebase also seems sufficient to trigger Google’s allergy. In the case of git-annex, it’s possible to build all releases (until next month’s) with a flag that prevents linking with any AGPL code, which should mean the resulting binary is GPL licensed, but Google still didn’t feel able to use it, since the git-annex source tree includes AGPL files.
I don’t know if Google’s allergy to the AGPL extends to software used for drone murder applications, but in any case I look forward to preventing Google from using more of my software in the future.