I found the following lines about AGPL3 and I am not sure about the correct way to interpret it.

Does AGPL3 oblige me to give my cloud services that connected to the app for free or is it only the source code of it.

They write the word source all the time and it sounds to me like it does not have to be the word source code and could be the actual service.

Source one gnu

access to copy the Corresponding Source from a network server at no charge.

e) Convey the object code using peer-to-peer transmission, provided you inform other peers where the object code and Corresponding Source of the work are being offered to the general public at no charge under subsection 6d.

by providing access to the Corresponding Source from a network server at no charge,

Source two synopsys

[I]f you modify the Program, your modified version must prominently offer all users interacting with it remotely through a computer network…an opportunity to receive the Corresponding Source of your version by providing access to the Corresponding Source from a network server at no charge, through some standard or customary means of facilitating copying of software.


I use app on the mobile with AGPL3.

This app is using google Firebase cloud that cost me money each month to use.

Do I need to provide this service for free, or am I allowed take money on it every month to for maintenance of the application.

Share the code that I put to the cloud I understand that I need, but can am I allowed to charge the users for the service of using the cloud.

  • 3
    The term Corresponding Source is defined in the license (section 1). It means “all the source code needed to generate, install, and (for an executable work) run the object code and to modify the work, including scripts to control those activities.” The only service you have to perform is providing this source code.
    – amon
    Oct 7, 2020 at 12:33

1 Answer 1


Yes, commercial use is allowed for the AGPLv3 license. You can charge for your use of the software so long as you provide a way for the public to download the source code in its entirety.

  • 3
    Strictly speaking, isn't “the public” just current and former users?
    – wizzwizz4
    Oct 7, 2020 at 19:55
  • 2
    @wizzwizz4 - Yes, the license only requires you to provide the source to those who have access to the binaries (or in this case, the web service).
    – bta
    Oct 7, 2020 at 22:23
  • @wizzwizz4 Not necessarily, you don't have to be a "user", I could, as a non user, request the source code covered under AGPLv3. I don't have to participate in or even use in any way the software to be able to request the code.
    – Ron Beyer
    Oct 8, 2020 at 18:20
  • @RonBeyer You can also request the code of proprietary systems, even if you don't use them.
    – wizzwizz4
    Oct 8, 2020 at 20:59
  • Right, but you aren't entitled to it, whereas with the AGPL the requestor must be provided the code, regardless of being a user or not. That's what I mean by "public", anybody capable of requesting it must be provided the source. It isn't the license holders right to discriminate in favor of users.
    – Ron Beyer
    Oct 8, 2020 at 21:08

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .