[License-discuss] Working Class License

Brendan Hickey brendan.m.hickey at gmail.com
Fri Jun 28 11:01:29 UTC 2019

This came up with the SSPL. From the FSF:

"You can legally use the GPL terms (possibly modified) in another license
provided that you call your license by another name and do not include the
GPL preamble, and provided you modify the instructions-for-use at the end
enough to make it clearly different in wording and not mention GNU (though
the actual procedure you describe may be similar)."

While this license appears to be a non-free parody international socialism,
it doesn't violate the FSF's copyright.


On Fri, Jun 28, 2019, 06:35 John Cowan <cowan at ccil.org> wrote:

> On Fri, Jun 28, 2019 at 6:01 AM Lukas Atkinson <
> opensource at lukasatkinson.de> wrote:
> You are clearly not trying to create an open source license because the
>> license discriminates against certain persons: against those who you do not
>> deem “working class”. Compare OSD #5 specifically, and the Free Software
>> Definition more generally.
> Not only that, but the Working Class License itself is a blatant violation
> of the FSF's copyright, unless the author has a private license from the
> FSF to create such a thing (which I do not believe, as it fails to
> acknowledge the FSF in any way). As the GPL says right at the top:
> "Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this
> license document, but changing it is not allowed."
> John Cowan          http://vrici.lojban.org/~cowan        cowan at ccil.org
> The competent programmer is fully aware of the strictly limited size of
> his own
> skull; therefore he approaches the programming task in full humility, and
> among
> other things he avoids clever tricks like the plague.  --Edsger Dijkstra
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