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Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2016 16:28:48 +0100
From: FRIGN <>
Subject: Re: musl licensing

On Thu, 17 Mar 2016 08:14:04 -0700
Christopher Lane <> wrote:

Hey Christopher,

> This isn't about shoveling risk from Google to musl.  We want musl to be a
> clear and unambiguously licensable product so we can use it.  Incidentally,
> figuring out the licensing stuff here is a large distraction for our team
> (and we knew it would be), but we're willing to put in the time and effort
> because we think it's beneficial for the open source community overall, and
> because it's ethically correct. This isn't just CYA, and it's not some
> nefarious scheme..

> If it comes down to it, it might be possible for us to avoid using any of
> the public domain parts of musl - maybe in a fashion similar to what bionic
> did, I don't know yet.  If that's good enough for our lawyers, it'll get
> our team unblocked and that's good enough I guess.  Though, I'd prefer we
> solve this without such a workaround so others can benefit.

I totally understand what you mean. Even for my open source works, I'm
very careful when it comes to public domain. I consider public domain
problematic because the legal definition is unclear.
Every developer here who supports his points with ideological arguments
is in my opinion stubborn and should get a reality check, and it's a
mistery for me why you literally want to make it difficult for Google and
other people to use your software by not just licensing your public
domain stuff as BSD-0 for reasons that are beyond insanity.

Only because you stamp "public domain" on something doesn't make it not
your intellectual property. That's the thing people, every work of art
has an owner, it's your responsibility to mark work you want to share
with everyone and don't want credit in a way it is legally sound.
Google cannot argue with ideology in front of courts, so can't you and
me neither in case some license hippie decided to revoke his public
domain license for some fucked up reason.

Now, if you just wrote down codetables and you think it's not
copyrightable and by that means you can just declare it to be public
domain, it won't work that way either.
In the end, only a court can decide that and up until this point you
still have to release this stuff just like anything else that is your
intellectual property.

And don't get me wrong, I'm probably one of the biggest enemies of
the term "intellectual property" in the open source context; for
companies it's another matter, however, we have to play by the
rules of the system and be clear about what we mean.
For lawyers, calling something "public domain" doesn't mean much
to them. So endure the pain, license it under BSD-0, so Google's
lawyers and future peoples' lawyers are happy and we actually get
shit done.

This entire discussion about public domain ideology has been going
on for too fucking long and is a waste of fucking time, and the
solutions have been laid out multiple times.




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