Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2012 22:22:27 +0100 From: Szabolcs Nagy <nsz@...t70.net> To: musl@...ts.openwall.com Subject: Re: License survey * Rich Felker <dalias@...ifal.cx> [2012-02-21 12:16:14 -0500]: > On Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 10:59:17AM -0600, Bobby Bingham wrote: > > On Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 9:42 AM, Szabolcs Nagy <nsz@...t70.net> wrote: > > > [...] > > > i'd encourage sharing third party improvements > > > (and try to make it easy) > > > but would not try to enforce it > > > (except may be by publishing evildoers on a wall of shame) > > > > > > > This sounds like a contradictory position to me. > > > > The whole point of a license is as a place for you to spell out your > > requirements for others to use/redistribute the software. If you want > > them to share their improvements, that's exactly the sort of thing > > that belongs in the license. > > Indeed, especially with corporate users. If you treat sharing > improvments as The Right Thing to do, but don't spell out a but i don't think sharing is "the right thing" sometimes it's important sometimes it's not i think licensing cannot protect against abusers in general, so i mentioned the wall of shame (i imagined wall of shame to be an objective source of information: list of contributors, users, donators, related projects, corporations, etc from which somehow it becomes clear when someone uses the project for personal gain without contributing back anything i'm not saying that it's practical/possible to maintain such a list, but if it were there then i could decide *myself* who i consider bad to me this information seems more useful than the legal protection: i can base future decisions on it (legal protection allows me to sue, but who has the resources to do that?) right now the *author* tries to fix every possible abuse in advance through licensing so the author has a huge responsibility when chosing the license (instead of doing productive work)) > requirement to do so, then people improving the source in a corporate > environment have their hands tied. They may want to share their > improvements, but without a legal requirement to do so, they're going > to have a really hard time convincing their boss and/or legal > department that it's a good idea. Ideally "It will save us having to > maintain our own tree internally and resolve conflicts merging > upstream changes." would be a good enough reason, but I think that's > wishful thinking... > well this is another issue: many organizations are evil organizations which are designed to compete for the privatization of knowledge will inevitably abuse public information i don't want to fix this in the license i don't think it can be fixed (but i want to know it when it happens) > > It sounds odd to me to use a license allowing others to keep their > > improvements closed, and then to shame them for actually following the > > license. > > I'm uncertain whether I agree with this or not. All free software and > open source definitions seem to exclude any license that puts > restrictions on use based on field of endeavor (e.g. using the > software in controversial settings the copyright holder disagrees > with), but I would still feel perfectly comfortable shaming somebody > who used free software to censor the internet or track down dissidents > for imprisonment and torture. > > In short, I think there's some merit to saying: I acknowledge that > it's not my right or responsibility to impose condition X on use of > code, because if we as a community tolerated that, everyone would come > up with their own pet conditions and combining code from different > projects would become impossible. But you're still a bad > person/company if you do [thing condition X would have prohibited]. > this. a license is either open to abuse or it limits some legal uses along with the abusive ones i'd like to err on the unrestricted side and then fix the abuses with other tools software licensing turns every author into moral judges over what is right or wrong and then hardcodes the judgement which will limit legal uses just as well as abusive ones with no good reason
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