Emerging Code Licensing

Boris has hosted discussions and given presentations on this general topic for several years now.

The basic premise is two fold.

  1. There are a number of emerging code licenses that are not the same as classic open source licenses that are 30+ years old

  2. Changing licenses may lead to greater success for code maintainers

Review of some emerging licenses and approaches — Cross Licensing Collaboratives, Parity / Prosperity, “Fair” Licenses vs Open source

Code and the digital bits aren’t a scarce resources — they can be infinitely copied. But support, maintenance, dealing with security and issues ARE a scarce resource.

Some previous presentations and resources:

Join us for an overview of some emerging licenses, bring your questions and topics of discussions, and share what has and hasn’t worked for you.


Chat Log

00:33:49 Justin Johnson: https://github.com/nick-thompson/elementary
00:34:55 Nick: :+1: and www.elementary.audio
00:35:50 Boris Mann: Eduardo is part of the Artless Devices forum, which talks about OSS / licensing topics https://forum.artlessdevices.com/
00:36:19 Justin Johnson: https://github.com/LuxLang/lux ?
00:38:24 Eduardo Julian: ^^^ Yes
00:38:37 Justin Johnson: :pray:
00:46:24 Danny O’Brien: sorry I’m late – this is my first day back after ETHDenver Covid, so I’m just ramping up
00:50:08 quinn: Maybe you’ll cover this later: I’ve heard you and Brooklyn say you prefer Apache to MIT, and I’m curious about why? I didn’t realize there were substantial differences between them
00:50:47 Brooklyn Zelenka (@expede): Patent covenants!
00:52:44 quinn: Oh! I didn’t realize that, thanks!
00:53:02 Brooklyn Zelenka (@expede): Yeah so MIT is “freer”
00:53:13 Brooklyn Zelenka (@expede): In that it constrains people less
00:53:34 Brooklyn Zelenka (@expede): But there’s always tradeoffs
00:53:47 Brooklyn Zelenka (@expede): We like the word “free”, but I don’t like patent trolls…. sooooooooo
01:03:33 Eduardo Julian: Oh… So that’s what 996.ICU means
01:12:30 Eduardo Julian: You’re pulling an aikido move on our aikido move
01:16:56 Danny O’Brien: i literally had to explain to someone the other day why you would ever think to write proprietary code
01:21:37 quinn: iirc Discourse gives their employees a stipend to give to open source each year (maybe I learned that from you?). I’m sure it isn’t a silver bullet, but do you have any thoughts on where that does or doesn’t address the problem?
01:21:55 Danny O’Brien: so one parenthetical thing that I said that is not directly relevant, but INTERESTING, is that whereas in the US, intellectual property is (constitutionally fixed) as something that which is a means to an end — “To Promote the Progress of Science and the useful Arts by securing for limited times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries”, whereas the alternative (and more pervasive) doctrine is that intellectual property rights, like other property rights, is an inalienable human right
01:23:35 Danny O’Brien: you get this most directly when you think about author or “moral rights” – where the creator of a work has a right (that they cannot waive or transfer to someone else) to control how their work is used. So e.g. you could stop someone using an illustration you made in support of Nazis, even if they bought it legitimately, or you CC-licenced it etc
01:23:54 Boris Mann: Yeah. More like artists.
01:27:04 Danny O’Brien: I mention this, just because sometimes I think people are trying to bolt into licenses rights that – if they don’t think that IP is broken or immoral or just a poor fit for software – they may actually already have, in most jurisdictions; it just hasn’t been adequately litigated or defined in the space of software. This doesn’t help USians who have limited moral rights, but the US model is not widely accepted outside that country.
01:28:14 Danny O’Brien: ok gotta go to my staff meeting! Sorry for just parachuting in, really love the conversation, I’ll sit and listen to the rest of the talk!
01:43:19 Boris Mann: Funding Marijn
01:43:26 Boris Mann: Building and maintaining software is skilled, specialized work. I prefer to allow the whole world to use my software, but I do need some kind of income.

Thus, I ask people and companies who use my software to make profit to fund the production of that software. This is a social expectation, not a legal requirement.
01:55:05 quinn: Thank you Boris, and everyone else who joined the discussion! I learned a lot hearing your back and forth