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

Michael Downey michael at downey.net
Wed Aug 21 20:07:28 UTC 2019

Hi all, 

On Wed, Aug 21, 2019, at 12:22, Howard Chu wrote:

> Article 27:
> (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life 
> of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific 
> advancement and its benefits.
> (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material 
> interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic 
> production of which he is
> the author.

Since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was mentioned, I thought it would be an important reminder that FLOSS software is often used by marginalized groups in humanitarian relief contexts who are under threat of political and other violence. I'm no lawyer, but it seems to me that requiring those folks to publicly disclose their use of the software (via forced disclosure of private modifications) could put their safety in jeopardy.

Yes, as the creator of a work, you could certainly put any kinds of restrictions you like on others' use of your work. But it seems contrary to the OSD, and in $dayjob we certainly wouldn't encourage those restrictions on any type of globally-beneficial FLOSS public good that could be used in the contexts I describe above.

Appreciate the fascinating discussion.

Michael Downey
DIAL Open Source Center
United Nations Foundation

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