[License-discuss] documentation on un-enforceability of ethical licenses? (was Re: License Review Request - Anu Initiative

Roland Turner roland at rolandturner.com
Wed Feb 7 01:19:12 UTC 2024

On 7/2/24 01:45, Pamela Chestek wrote:

> Instead I think it's a practical problem. Licenses are not
> self-enforcing, someone has to bring a legal claim for enforcement. Only
> the licensor can enforce the contract (unless the license has a third
> party beneficiary, in which case the third party can enforce it only
> insofar as that party's interest is impacted). Is the licensor going to
> become the ethics police of the world, committing resources to go after
> every use that breaches the ethics provision?

I suspect that this is the literal intention of at least some of the 
proposed "ethical" licenses[1]. The desire to gain discretionary power 
over others is an understandable one — particularly in contested 
political spaces — but probably not one that OSI has much to gain by 
facilitating, for example by approving a discriminatory license.

- Roland

1: I have no idea about the motivations of the Anu Initiative in this 

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