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Re: [ox-en] Re: usage of software and the CGPL

On Mon, Mar 15, 2004 at 02:50:50AM -0000, George Dafermos wrote:
i've been lurking indeed, but it seems i must have been blind or

I'm happy you finally replied!

We need enforceable ethics, but this enforceability need not
necessarily stem from the current legal system, which is partly
rotten, unethical, and many of its aspects are bound to collapse;
ethics is not a question that legal systems should decide- and the
CGPL is a p2p agreement among autonomous people who value community
to be ethical.

I don't understand this. If you *know* it's unenforceable under the
current legal system and are instead depending on the agreements of
individuals, why would you attempt to codify this in *legal* terms
within a *legal* license? 

The end result gets you just as far as if you had attached a bit of
text stating your desires, fostered development a community around
your brand of ethics or created a weaker, "please do this" clause in
an otherwise enforceable license. Any of these options are, IMHO,
vastly superior because they don't risk invalidating the more legally
sound, and still extremely important, bits of the license with
unenforceable claims.

There are a number of projects harnessed by the CGPL.

Interesting to know that at least a couple people have put it into

4. KnoBot, WYMIWYG - dual licensed with BSD-style license

This reduces the CGPL to a gesture. I prefer this but it still seems a
bit silly.

5. there are also a number of technologies that are not licensed
under the CGPL, but embrace its principles and are run in alignment
with the underlying ethical perspective as set forth by the
CGPL. Principal among these is a japanese adaptation of mandrake -

Can you explain what you mean by "embrace its principles?" Have you
read some of my posts to this and/or do you remember the talk I gave
at LSM last year?

I've talked a lot about fostering ethical development communities
through an ethically imbued development practice and communities used
as sites for ethical cultivation. If those ethics are about doing
good, does this count as "embracing the principles?"

I have no problems with creating software that will be used for good
and not evil. I wish everyone did this. I have a problem with trying
to codify this as a form of discriminatory licensing; I have a bigger
problem with doing this in a way that is, by most accounts, is
unenforceable and counterproductive to the enforceability of the less
controversial parts of the license.


Benjamin Mako Hill

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