[License-review] For approval: The Cryptographic Autonomy License (Beta 4)

Josh Berkus josh at berkus.org
Fri Feb 7 17:20:50 UTC 2020

> Having reviewed the latest draft, "Pass" from me. I have lingering
> concerns over this license, and the potential for abuse by Holochain or
> other unknown licensors, based partly on the earlier drafting history,
> some of Van's earlier comments on those drafts, and general suspicion of
> new copyleft licenses advanced specifically by narrow commercial
> interests. However I don't think those concerns are sufficiently
> grounded in the current license text such that I would recommend
> rejection or more protracted discussion. If this license is approved, I
> would not recommend that anyone use it. But on its face, the license,
> including the core interesting User Data requirement feature, seem to me
> consistent with the spirit of the OSD and software freedom.

Well, let's thought-experiment this onto a non-crypto project to see how
it maps.  Imagine that I'm Tobias, lead maintainer of Pretalx conference
software, and owner of pretalx.com hosting service.  What I want out of
the license is:

* reassurance for my customers that I won't "lock up" their data;
* a guarantee that if someone launches a competeing pretalx hosting
service, they can't lock up customer data preventing migration either
* maximizing sharing of any improvements to the code

Does the CAL do this?

Josh Berkus

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