Look back accident of "Mastodon and AGPL"

日本語版は こちら

This is an article which is second day of Fediverse Advent Calendar 2020. Let's read articles involved Fediverse from Japanese!!


I used to enjoy msdn.guru, one of the Mastodon servers.

January 2020, I pointed out that mstdn.guru maintainers had caused Mastodon AGPL violation because their change of mstdn.guru wasn't disclosed. Due to my lack of understanding and explanation, it caused a great deal of confusion for the people in the mstdn.guru community. I had become unstable mental. I think the maintainers of msdn.guru have a problem with the response and attitude, but I still regret that I might have had a better way to do it.

I was terribly unstable mentall since the beginning of the problem. I had quite few psychological dependencies in the real world and lost the big dependence which is the mstdn.guru community. When I was free, I flashed again and again although this will not change their behavior. It was a hard and painful thing. Supplementation: the maintainers didn't ban my account, I left the community myself because I don't want to harm community members and my heart. After about a year, the psychological pain remains but quite going better. I feel pain from the directly relevant words like msdn.guru, drikin(maintainer), mazzo(maintainer), guru-don(Japanese nickname of msdn.guru) or the little relevant words like camera, Sony, GoPro. mstdn.guru is a community related to video, camera, and gadget. I think I need to cure this pain with passage of time.

You can get the information at the time this happened from my past article, AGPLとMastodon .

So about a year will pass. I want to look back at this happening with a calm heart.

December 2019
mstdn.guru was updated to master which means Mastodon developing branch, and it’s not official release v3.0.1. mstdn.guru is not a server chasing master. The maintainer said that the server had updated with v3.0.1. But I noticed that I can use a feature which had been added after releasing v3.0.1. I guessed so the update was not v3.0.1, it was master. But it was strange for me because WebUI had not been updated to master so the added feature can’t be used from WebUI. The maintainer had changed WebUI before the update which was adding a widget for audio live streaming. I guessed the maintainer was still using previously changed WebUI without adding the update. I claimed to maintainers to disclose source by AGPL for confirming the truth. The maintainers said they have no motivation to deal with disclosing the source then avoided my claim. They avoided disclosing the source with reverting change and adding the update of master.

January 2020
One day the change of widget was revived without disclosing source. I claimed them to disclose the source. The maintainer has a motivation to add change again but no motivation to disclose… He reverted to Vanilla again and disclosed the screenshot which is a diff of the change. “If you add change, you need to disclose source.” “Well I have no motivation. So I revert to Vanila. Do you have any complaints?” This is the conversation that I had in December, well it is not a real conversation but like this. Their behaviour adding change again like this violated this conversation. It is hard to understand.
The fact, the change of WebUI can be checked from the browser. But the view of the current happening, I thought the attitude of avoiding disclosing source is not good and I wanted them to disclose source. Because I like the comunity and I hate the situation other servers disclose sources but my belonging server does not. I claimed to disclose the source.
Server cost of mstdn.guru was paid by SAKURA Internet, Japanese service provider. SAKURA Internet aided as a sponsor of Podcast which is the maintainers doing.
I talked at Discord server which is a spin out from the community. I said that I should talk to SAKURA Internet if the avoiding situation still remains. The maintainer happened to read the conversation and all of the source was disclosed at GitHub after a few minutes from the conversation. Well my want archived. It is strange that they don’t grant my claim but they may have difficulty if I report to SAKURA Internet.

March 2020
I didn’t talk to SAKURA Internet but I think I should because they have a position that needs to understand this happening. So I talked to them and asked them what they were thinking and feeling.

I asked many questions. You can check from here.

We know what is happening but we don't understand the whole story.

The service user bears all legal liability.

The relationship of SAKURA Internet and mstdn.guru is "Sakura Internet sponsors Backspace.fm and we will provide SAKURA VPS for the mstdn.guru server". backspaace.fm is the name of the maintainers podcast.

Well I can’t completely understand their answers because my questions are bad or my mind is not enough to understand. It seems SAKURA Internet has no will to make action to the maintainers’ correspondence and attitude with the position of sponsor.


After about a year, nowadays, I search that mstdn.guru isn’t updated anymore and maintained with the old master.

It was heard by Mastodon founder Eugen before the source code was disclosed, and his view is "I think that "AGPL violation" is too strong for something like this. There is no practical benefit to conflict over such small visual changes. " This source cannot be posted because the conversation was made in a private post.

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