[License-review] Request for Approval of NO NONSENSE OPEN SOURCE LICENSE

Bruce Perens bruce at perens.com
Fri Jun 8 17:58:43 UTC 2012

Hello Love Nystrom,

A long time ago, while working for the Debian project, I set the rules 
that are now called the Open Source Definition. There were a number of 
difficult choices. For example, should Open Source licenses allow use of 
the software for oppression of people?

One of the examples at the time was the Berkeley SPICE license. This 
electrical engineering software included a prohibition, in its license, 
on use by the police of South Africa. At the time the license was 
written, South Africa was under Apartheid and there was terrible 
oppression of the Black population by the police. But Apartheid ended, 
and the license continued to include that prohibition for many years 
after it was no longer justified.

I took from this example the lesson that you can't micromanage that only 
good is done with your license.


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