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

Johnny A. Solbu johnny at solbu.net
Fri Feb 21 09:57:32 UTC 2020

On Friday 21 February 2020 03:16, Eric Schultz wrote:
> I'm not sure licensing is the proper place to address this issue but at the same
> time, it has powerful features that are valuable in what should be our
> common goal of social justice.

This does not belong in a licence. It belongs in a Code of Conduct.

The moment you add a clause/Preamble like this in a license, it is no longer a Free Software license and many distros will refuse to include it.
The restrictions you suggest will make any software using this license proprietary, it will no longer be Free software.

The Free Software and Open Source movements are not about social justice, but creating Free software. Free Software is about controlling our own computing.
Adding such a clause that you propose will remove this freedom that Richard Stallman was the the first to strongly fight for.
Doing this is organized discrimination, it is Evil.

In the 2001 documentary «Revolution OS» Bruce Perens lists the Open Source definitions and explains what each of them mean.

One of those is the rule number 5, which says:
«No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups.
  The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons.»
The example he use in the documentary is that you can't stop an abortion clinic or an anti abortion activist from using the software.
This means that the license cannot stop a climate change activist or a climate change denyer from using the software.

Free and Open Source software explisitly allow evil people and corporations to use the software in any way they see fit.
If Satan himself should show up and started to use Free software for tracking down and then killing everyone who did not worship him, the Free and Open Source licenses would not legaly block him from doing exactly this.

Johnny A. Solbu
web site,   https://www.solbu.net
PGP key ID: 0x4F5AD64DFA687324
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