Just saw a CC No Derivatives licensed artwork fly through my timeline. I have opinions on -ND:
ND doesn't stop bad things (say, appropriation) from being done, while stopping good things (say, translation) from being done.
On a broader level it makes promoting and building libre-culture together harder.
ShareAlike is as effective at stopping some bad things (say, corporations using stuff in ads) from happening, while explicitly allowing the good.
I dive deeper into my reasoning in the blogpost (inb4 "like and subscribe").
Sorry about the subtoot (kinda-sorta), but didn't want to jump into the artist's thread and do a reply-guy thing.
Obviously everyone has the right to choose whatever license they like and feel suits them best!
But I feel there is a lot of mythos around what No Derivatives can and cannot do, and I believe it is harmful to the broader libre culture movement.
Semi-related, there is a batch of new "anti-capitalist" software licenses that is getting traction. I have similar problems with them as I have with NC and ND. I guess I should write them up, too.
But tl;dr would be: fragmenting the FLOSS codebase by using incompatible and legally unclear software licenses like that is shooting ourselves in the foot; AGPL achieves the same (big corporate capitalist entities stay the fsck away), without causing that much legal incompatibility/fragmentation.
@rysiek hmmmmm I'd likevto hear more.
No derivative can get murky
Also non commercial what happens if a not for profit uses it?
@nonlinear NC is a separate problem, much has been written about it.
But the tl;dr for that is that it's just unclear what it means. If a not-for-profit uses it, is it non-commercial? What if they accept donations? What if they use it in their newsletter, where they ask for donations? What if... just too many what-ifs.
Most people, when they see (and understand) NC, will just not do anything with such content at all.
Those who don't understand it will use it any way they want, including commercially.
@nonlinear in both cases (ND and NC), I feel ShareAlike is just a way better solution.
It won't change anything with regard to those who ignore or do not understand licensing anyway; it will however stop large corporate entities from using the work without a separate license (can't "taint" their "imaginary property" with CC SA, eh?).
But it will explicitly enable those who do and want to do something interesting with the work.
It's also clear and unambiguous, trivial to comply with.
@nonlinear I'd much prefer to keep this textual. Gives time to think and consider questions and responses, and avoids most problems around scheduling, microphones not working, volume levels being all weird, bad quality sound etc etc.
@rysiek I'm fine with textual but real time is kinda paramount for those things.
Email (and mastodon) is semi real time but not really.
@rysiek There is an uncomfortably large group of software engineers cosplaying as lawyers in the licensing space.
@ozamidas it's not just good enough. It is in fact *better* at being anti-capitalist than these "anti-capitalist" licenses.
source licensing meta, legal code is code too
Re-inventing the wheel drives progress, and homogenization breeds stagnation and exclusion.
There's certainly reasons to license using the big name licenses. That it works for all of your use cases seems...shortsighted to the point of uselessness in the world outside the FLOSS ivory tower.
Why is fragmentation bad?
Maybe it's unworkable for you, or has negatively impacted your attempts to use it.
But that's not what you're saying here in these absolute statements you're broadcasting in public.
You're saying "stop innovating because i think it's a solved problem", and that's not a great message to hear when the problem is obvious and people are motivated to try something better.
(Especially given that a decade or three ago, people said the exact same things about a/gpl/etc other licenses...literally "why bother other license do this better" was things said.)
@rysiek @ozamidas The GPL licenses have real problems which the FSF isn’t fixing, and at this point the GPL licenses are mostly anti-competitive capitalist tools used to suck free labor from volunteers.
The anti-capitalist licenses are wonky, and I think a harder copyleft license would be better, but it’s a place to start.
They do need to consult a lawyer.
@rysiek And if you need one in another language, the EUPL is available in 23 languages, and is similar to and downstream-compatible with AGPL.
"For the same reasons that the AGPL is banned, the use of EUPL-licensed software is not allowed at Google."
Last I checked it was an OK license, but you wouldn´t really use it for your project unless you were a public sector organization.
(I was involved in developing the early versions, not sure where it´s gone from there.)
The license is designed primarily with public-sector organizations in mind (hence all those translations). But it is a fully functional #FOSS license, and compatible with lots of other licenses.
@Natureshadow @owl @rysiek @teckids_eV @AlekSISorg The only potential downside I can see is that downstream recipients might not be familiar with the #EUPL, and therefore reluctant to re-use the software.
But there’s always the compatibility mechanism, which is either refreshingly straightforward or brazenly hamfisted, depending on your taste.
@kgerloff @Natureshadow @owl @rysiek @teckids_eV @AlekSISorg I intend to use the EUPL for my future projects. But I can't help but worry that the downstream compatibility mechanism will be abused, since it provides compatibility with weak non-network copyleft licenses like LGPL and EPL.
I'm not the only one worrying about that: GoatCounter uses EUPL modified to have compatibility narrowed only to OSL and AGPL.
I'd like to ask: why are the EUPL authors so confident that this won't be abused?
This sounds like you should maybe pick another license, perhaps one with strong copyleft like the GPL.
The #EUPL ´s compatibility mechanism is intended to maximise reuse of software developed by the public sector; and to enable other users (mostly public bodies) to combine the EUPL software with whatever else they´re running.
Those are good goals for a public sector org IMHO. They don´t have to be yours.
And re GoatCounter: Please, PRETTY PLEASE don´t modify #FOSS licenses.
Modified licenses make it super hard to use, and especially recombine and redistribte, your software. Your modifications are also easily overlooked by devs who want to write software rather than read licenses.
A lot of work has gone into making #FOSS licenses work as well as they do today. Ripping out a half-sentence here or there can really mess things up.
@kgerloff @Natureshadow @owl @rysiek @teckids_eV @AlekSISorg I don't intend to modify any FOSS licenses or say that this is the right thing to do. But I expect that there will be more projects modifying the EUPL like GoatCounter does. There seems to be a perceived vacuum there due to the worry I explained above.
@mikolaj @Natureshadow @owl @rysiek @teckids_eV @AlekSISorg What I don´t understand is why the developers behind the projects you mention don´t simply pick a mainstream #FOSS license that does what they want.
Unless you´re a public body, choosing the #EUPL for your project is like riding into town on a unicycle rather than a regular bike: Doable, but somewhat impractical.
I know such cases exist, but they’re much rarer than either developers or lawyers tend to think.
(For lawyers, FOSS licensing is a niche within a niche. Not a lot of them specialize in it, and I appreciate those specialists all the more for that reason. But it means getting good advice is hard unless you find a real pro.)
What I’m trying to get across: just because some local lawyer says “this license needs to be adjusted”, that isn’t necessarily true. If you’re talking to a non-specialist lawyer, they often simply won’t know enough.
@kgerloff @mikolaj @Natureshadow @owl @rysiek @teckids_eV @AlekSISorg For example, the MIT licence excludes any warranty, which is not possible in German civil law. That's why, whenever I use the MIT licence myself, I add this footnote: “at least in the absence of gross negligence and intent to the detriment of the Licensee”
@pixelcode @mikolaj @Natureshadow @owl @rysiek @teckids_eV @AlekSISorg Not sure if there´s an ultimate truth to be found here. But the (German-based) globocorp for which I used to work in #FOSS governance/compliance, with all its sceptical lawyers, didn´t think that addition was necessary or even helpful.
If MIT is invalid, you are not licensed to use the software. That would expose you to a huge legal jeopardy.
So if a well-lawyered-up globocorp thinks"this is fine", this is almost certainly fine in this particular case.
Here´s the gold standard FAQ on this for se Germanz: https://www.ifross.org/?q=open-source-lizenzen-uebliche-haftungs-und-gewaehrleistungsausschluss-deutschland-wirksam
1. The warranty/liability exclusions in the license aren´t valid in Germany
2. They´re simply overridden by the standard rules in German law
3. The license remains valid nevertheless.
@kgerloff @rysiek @pixelcode @mikolaj @Natureshadow @owl @teckids_eV @AlekSISorg Well, yes, but https://www.ifross.org/?q=welcher-gesetzliche-massstab-haftung-und-gewaehrleistung-gilt-deutschland explains further.
If the FOSS software is distributed free of charge, you tend to only be liable if you caused damage intentionally or through gross negligence, or when you maliciously hide flaws.
It's probably good enough for FOSS-as-a-hobby. FOSS-as-a-business could be a lot trickier.
Just ship the copyright notice+ license text along with your software. Boom, you´re done.
(Watch out for all those weird variants, though.)
@pixelcode @kgerloff @mikolaj @owl @rysiek @teckids_eV @AlekSISorg The MirOS Licence is a good choice if you need an MIT-style licence tailored to German/EU law (and including non-code works as well). It is OSI-, FSF- and DFSG-approved, and widely excepted, e.g. by Google for Android's system shell.
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