[License-discuss] For Public Comment: The Libre Source License

Russell McOrmond russellmcormond at gmail.com
Fri Aug 9 03:36:26 UTC 2019

On Thu, Aug 8, 2019 at 9:44 PM Moritz Maxeiner <mm at ucw.sh> wrote:

> In my opinion the spirit (if not the wording) of the "libre" in FLOSS is
> primarily (and if not should be) about minimizing the restrictions placed
> upon
> source code (and after that about minimizing restrictions placed on
> users);
> allowing someone to not publish modifications - in my mind - amounts to
> allowing them to place a restriction on source code that it hadn't had
> previously.

Curious: Since I have the capability to write software, but I decide not to
write some specific software, does that constitute a restriction on the
source code of this hypothetical software?

There are no new restriction on source code that hadn't previously been

What we are discussing is a new restriction (disallowing privacy) in
relation to source code that didn't previously exist.  Our community should
be trying to protect privacy, not suggesting that disallowing privacy is a
matter of protecting liberty (Yes, same logic that "intellegence" agencies
use to suggest massive surveilance is a requirement of security).

In my mind this policy reduces the amount of source code that will exist
(be written), and thus be an overall loss of software.  I'm being honest in
having a hard time understading why people believe that these types of
privacy restrictions will increase the amount of publicly distributed
source code (for those who think source code is a goal unto itself, rather
than only one tool towards a larger goal).

BTW: The "libre" comes from the more clear french "Logiciel libre", which
doesn't have the confusion about the meaning of the english word "free".

P.S.  My question isn't hypothetical.  There are enhancements to software
I've decided not to author because the original software was licensed under
the AGPL.

Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/>

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