[License-discuss] Ethical open source licensing - Persona non Grata Preamble

Eric Schultz eric at wwahammy.com
Sun Feb 23 04:26:15 UTC 2020

Rick: Are you finished sidelining what was a fruitful discussion?

I didn't talk about RMS and I'm not here to talk about sexual predators. I
didn't even think of RMS when I brought this topic up.

To most of the rest of the list:

I know most of you think Rick is out of line because I know you are good,
thoughtful people.  It's not remotely enough to ignore this sidelining in
defense of a predator and hope it goes away. Take some community leadership
here and speak up at the very least and illustrate what is out of line.

If I was a survivor of RMS' harassment or a survivor of sexual assault or
from a marginalized group, I'm pretty sure I'd have left by now. That's not


On Sat, Feb 22, 2020, 8:03 PM Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:

> Quoting John Cowan (cowan at ccil.org):
> > That is true, but not yet applicable.  So far we have only seen a request
> > to discuss the idea, and we have discussed it.  No request to draft a
> > license has been forthcoming.
> The commonality lies in spending everyone's time on what, in my opinion,
> and that of most regulars who've weighed in, is a particularly bad idea.
> The fact that Eric hasn't _technically_ been drafting licence text
> distracts from the point that license-discuss time/effort is better not
> expended on bad ideas.  (Obviously, some others starting with Eric
> himself would dispute my assertion of it being a bad idea.  I gladly
> acknowledge this, just in anyone is unclear.)
> Also, FWIW, I think the distinction about him not yet drafting a licence
> is just a bit questionable.  He's discussed particular wording for a
> Persona non Grata Preamble (not 'Prelude' as I stated upthread, sorry).
> At that point, I would suggest we're talking licence wording, even if
> carefully constrained to a NO-OP Preamble prepended solely to make an
> ideological point.
> (The point is valid that some GNU invariant texts are considerable
> annoyances, but we don't have to encourage and help more such things.)
> > Very simply, people who have strong emotions about these companies are
> > usually against them, whereas people have strong emotions both for and
> > against RMS.  Using him as an example would just invite even more
> > Sturm und Drang.
> My point about that was two-fold.  My larger point is that Richard
> Stallman, against whom Eric and some other signatories speaking for
> LibrePlanet have a very public and very recent grudge, seems like an
> excellent advance indicator of the typical uses to which a Persona non
> Grata Preamble would be put, in practice.  We would expect others to
> quickly follow following that model, not so much the Exxon-Mobils and
> ex-Monsanto Bayers of this world than the -- oh, I'm not sure who else
> would be a recent target of two-minutes hates -- Jörg Schilling, maybe,
> or was that all over by the late 2000s?  Anyway, the names would
> accumulate, gathering dust and reading like the typically grubby and
> increasingly antique peeves they mostly would be, I predict, no matter
> how prettied-up some were as merely required to make a project more
> 'safe and inclusive'.[1]
> My smaller point is that I am disappointed Eric didn't disclose, while
> making his proposal for a way to 'discourage and shame morally corrupt
> users', that he'd recently spearheaded a major public anti-Stallman
> effort for LibrePlanet, but that this inquiry is different and has
> nothing to do with that.
> Had I been in Eric's shoes, I'd have said so to avert criticism in
> advance, in the knowledge that the first thing attentive readers would
> do is look up one's recent writings to look for signs of conflict of
> interest or hidden agendas.
> If Eric now wishes to say this was not in any way part of his agenda,
> fine, but it's curious he didn't anticipate that suspicion.
> [1] At some risk of retribution from the gods of irony, I think I'll
> advise Eric here about one additional serious problem (among many) in
> his Persona non Grata Preamble proposal.  His text included:
>   These organizations and their employees are not welcome to participate
>   in PROJECT_NAME community. We intend to reject any issue submissions,
>   pull requests and support requests....
> Over time, the primacy in any open source code of the right to fork is
> going to make the above text look extremely clueless.  Let's say Org A
> compiles a no-goodniks list with finger-wagging text such as is quoted
> above.  Two years later, there's a fork, Org B manages the dominant
> fork, and Org A dissolves.  Three years further on, it's Org C.  Yet,
> the Persona non Grata Preamble for the covered code still proclaims to
> all comers that no-longer-extant Org A, may its memory be for a
> blessing, is firmly devoted to extending a non-welcome mat to a certain
> list of evil people.  This effect would be amusing if the comedy were
> not inadvertent.
> Basically, Eric's conception assumes One True Management speaks for a
> codebase.  Which is exactly what open source avoids.
> --
> Cheers,                          "I am not a vegetarian because I love
> animals;
> Rick Moen                        I am a vegetarian because I hate plants."
> rick at linuxmafia.com                                    -- A. Whitney Brown
> McQ! (4x80)
> _______________________________________________
> License-discuss mailing list
> License-discuss at lists.opensource.org
> http://lists.opensource.org/mailman/listinfo/license-discuss_lists.opensource.org
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-discuss_lists.opensource.org/attachments/20200222/6848931f/attachment.html>

More information about the License-discuss mailing list