This section does the analysis of licenses with a yardstick defined in terms of opposition to freedom. The proper yardstick when we talk of licenses should be the freedom that users (such as the government) will have, and how certain they are to have it.
The copyleft licenses – the GNU GPL and the GNU Affero GPL – are designed to make sure that modified versions of a program, if their use is offered to the public, are available to users with freedom. They have requirements, which add up to, “If you let someone use your version of the program, you must let him have it as free software.” This is defense of the public’s rights, including the government’s rights.
For instance, using the GNU AGPL is a way to tell companies such as Google, “You can adapt or extend this code to make a service, but then you must make your changed version of the code available, so we can run on our services too.” The GNU AGPL is specialy crafted to suit the freedom of users such as the government for software that runs on online portals (including eGovernement portals). Therefore, the state has every reason to promote the GNU AGPL for software that is likely to be useful on such portals.
Why would someone call this a “restriction”? Only if what he wants to do is restrict the public. Copyleft licenses say, “You can’t use this code to restrict others.” Thus, the government should prefer copyleft licenses when given the choice.
Use of FS by Govt should not follow how commecial companies think about licenses. Using their model of analysis for Government agency will lead to complete conflict of interest. Governemnt needs to protect the software freedom of its users and itself, and not the interests of software developing companies that would benefit by denying that freedom.
The most important stake-holder for the Governement is the people it serves. Further, copyleft licenses do not interfere with commerce, except for unethical commerce.
Therefore, the recommendation at the end of section 5 should be removed and replaced with the following:
Web based infrastructure used by a Govt project should be released under AGPL, so as to maximize the extent to which improvements made by others become available for the Govt to use.