restricting the use of open source software

Benjamin Rossen b.rossen at
Fri Mar 25 22:54:35 UTC 2005


Such a license would not be an Open Source License, since these expressly 
require that you place no restrictions on who may use the software, nor on 
what the software may be used for. You could make your own license, but it 
would not be an OSL. 

However, you have a greater problems than finding a suitable license. 

First you need to define clearly what a military institution is. Would you 
include the Coast Guard? Boarder Patrol? Customs Police? UN Peace Keepers? 
What about secret services and intelligence agencies? What about police; do 
they become military when they share resources and information with military 

Second you would need to have some way of enforcing your license. Since by 
definition military organizations are secretive in many things, and powerful 
in most, you would have almost no means to ensure that the military 
institutions under your definition do not use your software. 

You would find that it is neigh impossible to define the terms of your license 
satisfactorily, and certainly impossible to be sure of enforcing your terms. 

Benjamin Rossen 

On Friday 25 March 2005 23:31, Julien Fer wrote:
> Hello,
> I am interesting in learning about any open source license with the
> particular feature that it forbids use of the software in any
> military application and within  military institutions.
> Does anyone know of such a license, or if a modifying clause to an
> existing license (ideally GPL) can possibly add this restriction?
> Many thanks for any information,

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