#385 Update ToS to allow projects with Ethical Licences

Open
opened 1 month ago by duggalsu · 8 comments
duggalsu commented 1 month ago

This continues the discussion from #238 allow hosting projects that are ethically licensed.

These include licenses such as the Hippocratic License

Here is a list of other ethical licenses

Also see - Organization for Ethical Source

This continues the discussion from https://codeberg.org/Codeberg/Community/issues/238#issuecomment-168743 to allow hosting projects that are ethically licensed. These include licenses such as the Hippocratic License - https://firstdonoharm.dev/faq.html - https://spdx.org/licenses/Hippocratic-2.1.html Here is a list of other ethical licenses - https://ethicalsource.dev/licenses/ Also see - Organization for Ethical Source - https://ethicalsource.dev/
ojn commented 1 month ago
Poster

In my opinion licenses that discriminate against "bad guys" are bad and shouldn't be encouraged by the FOSS hosting platform that is Codeberg. Who knows who the next "Bad Guy" will be, today it's Amazon tomorrow it's some political party or meat eating people, there are no stop to this kinds of shenanigans. All these new licenses as well as Mongo/Redis/Elasticsearch new licesces are nothing more than proprietary Code Available licenses. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Source-available_software

Nothing new here and it's only getting worse, we don't need more licenses, we need more license complience to existing ones. OSI and FSF/GNU is already one organisation too many on who desides on what should or shouldn't be called FOSS.

In my opinion licenses that discriminate against "bad guys" are bad and shouldn't be encouraged by the FOSS hosting platform that is Codeberg. Who knows who the next "Bad Guy" will be, today it's Amazon tomorrow it's some political party or meat eating people, there are no stop to this kinds of shenanigans. All these new licenses as well as Mongo/Redis/Elasticsearch new licesces are nothing more than proprietary Code Available licenses. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Source-available_software Nothing new here and it's only getting worse, we don't need more licenses, we need more license complience to existing ones. OSI and FSF/GNU is already one organisation too many on who desides on what should or shouldn't be called FOSS.
fnetX commented 1 month ago
Poster
Collaborator

OSI and FSF/GNU is already one organisation too many on who desides on what should or shouldn't be called FOSS.

For me, this is one more reason to give Codeberg's users more rights to decide over their preferred licence as long as someone can consider it Open Source.

People should decide how they want their work to be used and Codeberg should offer this freedom to everyone, as long as they grant some freedom and won't completely close down the source.

If we limit license availability to a small amount of licenses, we consider open source, we are the oney who think they can decide what FOSS truly is. Is FOSS really about licensing? It might also be more about a community and what people can do with their code. Is a project truly FOSS if they release their code under a free license, but deny merging changes and lock make the life hard for Forks? This discussion could be held forever, I fear.

I think it's best to set this onto the agenda for the general assembly of Codeberg members.

> OSI and FSF/GNU is already one organisation too many on who desides on what should or shouldn't be called FOSS. For me, this is one more reason to give Codeberg's users more rights to decide over their preferred licence as long as someone can consider it Open Source. People should decide how they want their work to be used and Codeberg should offer this freedom to everyone, as long as they grant some freedom and won't completely close down the source. If we limit license availability to a small amount of licenses, **we** consider open source, we are the oney who think they can decide what FOSS truly is. Is FOSS really about licensing? It might also be more about a community and what people can do with their code. Is a project truly FOSS if they release their code under a free license, but deny merging changes and lock make the life hard for Forks? This discussion could be held forever, I fear. I think it's best to set this onto the agenda for the general assembly of Codeberg members.
ojn commented 1 month ago
Poster

Is FOSS really about licensing?

In a legal sense, yes. That's the only that counts when it comes to licenses.

Is a project truly FOSS if they release their code under a free license, but deny merging changes and lock make the life hard for Forks?

It is. You can't make life hard for forks, you can prevent usage of your trademark and that's basically it. One such project is SQLite, that is their bussiness model and it is still open source and free/libre software.

> Is FOSS really about licensing? In a legal sense, yes. That's the only that counts when it comes to licenses. > Is a project truly FOSS if they release their code under a free license, but deny merging changes and lock make the life hard for Forks? It is. You can't make life hard for forks, you can prevent usage of your trademark and that's basically it. One such project is SQLite, that is their bussiness model and it is still open source and free/libre software.
duggalsu commented 4 weeks ago
Poster

In my opinion licenses that discriminate against "bad guys" are bad and shouldn't be encouraged by the FOSS hosting platform that is Codeberg. Who knows who the next "Bad Guy" will be, today it's Amazon tomorrow it's some political party or meat eating people, there are no stop to this kinds of shenanigans.

OSI and FSF licenses allow building digital commons and keeping code free. But other than that, they place no emphasis on the kind of world we want to build and live in, and what we value as a society.

Ethical licenses do not prevent us from building or contributing to free code. They ensure that our work is actually used for the ideals we value, and respects the reason we build code and work. The Hippocratic License, for example, allows code to be used only if it does not violate Human Rights.

As gatekeepers for allowing/disallowing hosting certain code, we are giving a voice to what we value. If we do not allow hosting code that follow such ideals, it becomes essential to ask ourselves what we value and the kind of world we want to build.

> In my opinion licenses that discriminate against "bad guys" are bad and shouldn't be encouraged by the FOSS hosting platform that is Codeberg. Who knows who the next "Bad Guy" will be, today it's Amazon tomorrow it's some political party or meat eating people, there are no stop to this kinds of shenanigans. OSI and FSF licenses allow building digital commons and keeping code free. But other than that, they place no emphasis on the kind of world we want to build and live in, and what we value as a society. Ethical licenses do not prevent us from building or contributing to free code. They ensure that our work is actually used for the ideals we value, and respects the reason we build code and work. The Hippocratic License, for example, allows code to be used only if it does not violate Human Rights. As gatekeepers for allowing/disallowing hosting certain code, we are giving a voice to what we value. If we do not allow hosting code that follow such ideals, it becomes essential to ask ourselves what we value and the kind of world we want to build.
hw commented 4 weeks ago
Poster
Owner

For me, this is one more reason to give Codeberg's users more rights to decide over their preferred licence as long as someone can consider it Open Source.

The -F- in FOSS is about freedom, the -O-S- about Open Source. Considering the judgement from OSI, the Hippocrating license has not been compatible with Open Source (https://opensource.org/minutes20191011). Not sure which version this statement referred to, the Hippocratic license FAQ states that the license text has been recently amended. Are there any new statements from OSI available?

The often-repeated statement that discrimination between users and/or use cases is incompatible with the foundational idea of Free Software has been raised subsequently too, we need a good understanding how this would work together, especially with point 1 of the four essential freedoms (https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html#n1).

Codeberg e.V. has been been founded with the objective to support and enable development of Free and Open Software and Content (this is deeply interwoven into our statutes and bylaws). Weakening this is a big ask (of course we can amend our bylaw text, and this needs broad consensus from >66% of our members, not sure if a proposal as the above could achieve this).

> For me, this is one more reason to give Codeberg's users more rights to decide over their preferred licence as long as someone can consider it Open Source. The -F- in FOSS is about freedom, the -O-S- about Open Source. Considering the judgement from OSI, the Hippocrating license has not been compatible with Open Source (https://opensource.org/minutes20191011). Not sure which version this statement referred to, the Hippocratic license FAQ states that the license text has been recently amended. Are there any new statements from OSI available? The often-repeated statement that discrimination between users and/or use cases is incompatible with the foundational idea of Free Software has been raised subsequently too, we need a good understanding how this would work together, especially with point 1 of the four essential freedoms (https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html#n1). Codeberg e.V. has been been founded with the objective to support and enable development of Free and Open Software and Content (this is deeply interwoven into our [statutes and bylaws](https://codeberg.org/Codeberg/org/src/branch/master/en/bylaws.md)). Weakening this is a big ask (of course we can amend our bylaw text, and this needs broad consensus from >66% of our members, not sure if a proposal as the above could achieve this).
skade commented 3 weeks ago
Poster

For me, this is one more reason to give Codeberg's users more rights to decide over their preferred licence as long as someone can consider it Open Source.

The -F- in FOSS is about freedom, the -O-S- about Open Source. Considering the judgement from OSI, the Hippocrating license has not been compatible with Open Source (https://opensource.org/minutes20191011). Not sure which version this statement referred to, the Hippocratic license FAQ states that the license text has been recently amended. Are there any new statements from OSI available?

The often-repeated statement that discrimination between users and/or use cases is incompatible with the foundational idea of Free Software has been raised subsequently too, we need a good understanding how this would work together, especially with point 1 of the four essential freedoms (https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html#n1).

Codeberg e.V. has been been founded with the objective to support and enable development of Free and Open Software and Content (this is deeply interwoven into our statutes and bylaws). Weakening this is a big ask (of course we can amend our bylaw text, and this needs broad consensus from >66% of our members, not sure if a proposal as the above could achieve this).

I skimmed the bylaws and at no place do they even mention the word "license" or express that the definitions are based on what the OSI or the FSF definitions. If would even say that the dominant purpose coming from the bylaws is the providing of a platform.

As I expressed here, I would find it sad if this discussion centers around definition principles rather than questions of audience.

To take a step down from SSPL and Amazon (which I think is a bad example for this discussion, those are multi-billion companies hitting each other on the nose), let's take a more common example:

Would you accept content under CC BY-NC-SA? Or even just Share-Alike? The non-commercial clause is non-free. Another example is the GNU FDL, which is - a quote from the document - "kind of copyleft", but does restrict usage for a number of valid reasons (e.g. you need to change the title of the document if you publish a modified form, unless you get permission by the author).

I'm an outsider, but I wrote my share of bylaws, and it honestly confuses me where the notion "deeply interwoven" comes from.

And to give another perspective to the argument of labor: if the rule really is that Codeberg only hosts OSI-approved licenses and wants to take a super-principled stance, it needs to get procedures into place to enforce that.

There's a last argument that I want to give: we have, over the last years, seen growing frustration from maintainers about their situation and abuse. This has lead to a number of people to completely lock down their code - particularly people with low resources and privilege. I find that sad, but most importantly, it opened an interesting discussion space: the acceptance of Freedom Zero as an axiomatic rule is smaller than one might think. While I actually see a lot of other approaches around the above stated problems, my question is: should a platform be the arbiter of that and take a strong stance in those discussions, especially given that those discussions will probably be more common in the next years? What is the argument? Currently, I get the feeling that the argument is mainly historic, and that's a bad positioning in a situation where stuff is moving.


Is FOSS really about licensing?

In a legal sense, yes. That's the only that counts when it comes to licenses.

This reduces the discussion to a discussion that lawyer should have, though.

> > For me, this is one more reason to give Codeberg's users more rights to decide over their preferred licence as long as someone can consider it Open Source. > > The -F- in FOSS is about freedom, the -O-S- about Open Source. Considering the judgement from OSI, the Hippocrating license has not been compatible with Open Source (https://opensource.org/minutes20191011). Not sure which version this statement referred to, the Hippocratic license FAQ states that the license text has been recently amended. Are there any new statements from OSI available? > > The often-repeated statement that discrimination between users and/or use cases is incompatible with the foundational idea of Free Software has been raised subsequently too, we need a good understanding how this would work together, especially with point 1 of the four essential freedoms (https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html#n1). > > Codeberg e.V. has been been founded with the objective to support and enable development of Free and Open Software and Content (this is deeply interwoven into our [statutes and bylaws](https://codeberg.org/Codeberg/org/src/branch/master/en/bylaws.md)). Weakening this is a big ask (of course we can amend our bylaw text, and this needs broad consensus from >66% of our members, not sure if a proposal as the above could achieve this). I skimmed the bylaws and at no place do they even mention the word "license" or express that the definitions are based on what the OSI or the FSF definitions. If would even say that the dominant purpose coming from the bylaws is the providing of a _platform_. As I expressed [here](https://codeberg.org/Codeberg/Community/issues/238#issuecomment-170111), I would find it sad if this discussion centers around definition principles rather than questions of audience. To take a step down from SSPL and Amazon (which I think is a _bad_ example for this discussion, those are multi-billion companies hitting each other on the nose), let's take a more common example: Would you accept content under CC BY-NC-SA? Or even just Share-Alike? The non-commercial clause is non-free. Another example is the [GNU FDL](https://www.gnu.org/licenses/fdl-1.3.en.html), which is - a quote from the document - "kind of copyleft", but _does_ restrict usage for a number of valid reasons (e.g. you need to change the title of the document if you publish a modified form, unless you get permission by the author). I'm an outsider, but I wrote my share of bylaws, and it honestly confuses me where the notion "deeply interwoven" comes from. And to give another perspective to the argument of labor: if the rule _really_ is that Codeberg only hosts OSI-approved licenses and wants to take a super-principled stance, it needs to get procedures into place to enforce that. There's a last argument that I want to give: we have, over the last years, seen growing frustration from maintainers about their situation and abuse. This has lead to a number of people to completely lock down their code - particularly people with low resources and privilege. I find that sad, but most importantly, it opened an interesting discussion space: **the acceptance of Freedom Zero as an axiomatic rule is smaller than one might think**. While I actually see a lot of other approaches around the above stated problems, my question is: should a platform be the arbiter of that and take a strong stance in those discussions, especially given that those discussions will probably be more common in the next years? What is the argument? Currently, I get the feeling that the argument is mainly historic, and that's a bad positioning in a situation where stuff is moving. --- >> Is FOSS really about licensing? > In a legal sense, yes. That's the only that counts when it comes to licenses. This reduces the discussion to a discussion that lawyer should have, though.
ojn commented 3 weeks ago
Poster

Would you accept content under CC BY-NC-SA? Or even just Share-Alike? The non-commercial clause is non-free. Another example is the GNU FDL, which is - a quote from the document - "kind of copyleft", but does restrict usage for a number of valid reasons (e.g. you need to change the title of the document if you publish a modified form, unless you get permission by the author).

Those licenses are not made for the source code but documentation.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights leaves a lot to interpretation, it would be a huge slippery slope to start to discriminate between any legal entity; evil orgs will use the code anyway, regardless of the license. This makes all those ethical and unethical licenses useless. Who will decide that a human right violation has happened? This won't be enforcable in any practical manner. It is bad enough that there already exists so many licenses that it leads to choice parlysis, this codified legalese ethics only muddle the waters and cause compatibility issues.

Here's another intresting one: The Anti-Capitalist Software License https://anticapitalist.software/

will it be allowed if we are going to allow ethical, phylosofical, ideological licenses?

> Would you accept content under CC BY-NC-SA? Or even just Share-Alike? The non-commercial clause is non-free. Another example is the GNU FDL, which is - a quote from the document - "kind of copyleft", but does restrict usage for a number of valid reasons (e.g. you need to change the title of the document if you publish a modified form, unless you get permission by the author). Those licenses are not made for the source code but documentation. Universal Declaration of Human Rights leaves a lot to interpretation, it would be a huge slippery slope to start to discriminate between any legal entity; evil orgs will use the code anyway, regardless of the license. This makes all those ethical and unethical licenses useless. Who will decide that a human right violation has happened? This won't be enforcable in any practical manner. It is bad enough that there already exists so many licenses that it leads to choice parlysis, this codified legalese ethics only muddle the waters and cause compatibility issues. Here's another intresting one: The Anti-Capitalist Software License https://anticapitalist.software/ will it be allowed if we are going to allow ethical, phylosofical, ideological licenses?
skade commented 3 weeks ago
Poster

Well, documentation will be hosted oncodeberg as well, I presume?

A lot of the licenses leave room for interpretation and misinterpretation and the declaration of human rights is one of the better understood documents. Many of the licenses we're speaking about are not even tested very well in court!

In the end, from the perspective of a platform, this also matters little: the enforcement of the license is up to the maintainer, so that interpretation here is not up to Codeberg.

Well, documentation will be hosted oncodeberg as well, I presume? A lot of the licenses leave room for interpretation and misinterpretation and the declaration of human rights is one of the better understood documents. Many of the licenses we're speaking about are not even tested very well in court! In the end, from the perspective of a platform, this also matters little: the enforcement of the license is up to the maintainer, so that interpretation here is not up to Codeberg.
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