Re: [ox-en] non-commercial software lic
- From: "Benj. Mako Hill" <mako debian.org>
- Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 11:23:17 -0300
On Thu, May 06, 2004 at 05:47:33AM [PHONE NUMBER REMOVED], august wrote:
just thinking about the creative commons licenses....and I like the
non-commercial version a lot. I would love to find a license for
software that would prohibit similar things. In other words, "free"
for people to use and modify so long as it is never appropriated for
commercial purposes. Is there such a thing? Could something like
that be mixed together?
There are plenty of licenses that have non-commercial use
clauses. They are not Free Software or Open Source licenses of course.
In general, I agree with others who have followed up in this thread so
I a think a recap of their arguments will suffice.
One issue with NC clauses is that some people see them as dangerously
unenforceable. Another is that they are a slippery slope. A third is
that they render the software a whole lot less useful or legally clear
to many groups. A fourth is that the freedom to do whatever you want
with a software is important enough in the absolute that whether or
not you are making a profit really doesn't matter. There are plenty
One thing I'd like to add is that FOSS programmers *have* seen the
danger of exploitation that you mention but they choose to tackle in a
way that avoids the problems introduced by NC clauses. The answer is
copyleft which, while not barring use, makes sure that those using it
for "bad" never have an advantage over those using it for good.
Any other free-software programmers thinking along that wavelength?
There's a contradiction in that statement because if programmers were
doing software that barred non-commercial use, they wouldn't be doing
One example I can think of that may be an exception is MAME. Because
the MAME project is dealing with orphan-ware, they chose a non-free
license with an NC clause because they think (probably accurately)
that it will be the difference between getting the pants sued off and
not getting the pants sued off them: the companies whose orphaned
software they are emulating don't care until someone makes money and
then they go into litigation mode. I think in their case, they're
using the NC clause to deal with a screwed up a copyright system in a
way that seems quite different than the reasons you like these
Benjamin Mako Hill