Redox should use the Unlicense, WTFPL or CCO (most preferable) license

COO license is even more premissive license than MIT which results in making the software even more free and open source.

Correct me if I am wrong, but the use of the MIT license is VERY permissive. One thing that is within the license is that Redox or the maintainers cannot be held liable for any reason from use of their code. So it grants freedom but with extra protections. Whereas the WTFPL does not include such a clause.

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I don’t think WTFPL is suitable because it doesn’t mention anything about the warranty. But unlicense could probably work… but to what benefit? It looks pretty similar.

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How about Unlicense then?

Oh ok yeah we should use Unlicense, as there are no restrictions at all as to what users can and can’t do, therefore making this project 100% completely Free (as in freedom) and Open Source.

I think this is not correct. I am not a lawyer but it is generally no good idea in some jurisdictions to have a piece of work without it. I am aware of one concrete example in German law where you have a hard time to perform/play music in public. In German law you need to pay a license fee to an organization known as “GEMA” in case you want to play music of a band that is under the protection of the GEMA. If you want to play music that is not under this protection (its either your own music or from a band not under the GEMA protection) you need to have a proof! It is generally assumed – by law – that every music is licensed under the GEMA protection and not having a proper “free music” license could get you in “trouble” (meaning you have to pay either way if you can’t proof its “GEMA free”). So i can imagine there could be jurisdictions in other countries that would make it problematic in a similar way to software to have no license. And if not, it may be in the future. So having a license protects its freedom.

As a suggestion, In order to make it completely 100% FOSS (Free (as in freedom) and Open Source), Redox should change license to CCO. Redox can be the worlds first truly Free and Open Source Operating System.

The reason why I suggest this is because the use who downloaded the distribution, the copy of the Operating System or source code should be theirs. Placing ANY kinds of restrictions gives of a sense of not owning the copy of the software.

If the license were to change to CCO, I also recommend to encourage people who want to make a distribution out of Redox to credit the original authors of Redox.

Let me know what you guys think.

Can you summarize what problems you see in the current license and how these problems get resolved with the license you’re suggesting?

I have merge your post with this one, it has basically the same intention.

Well by placing ANY kind of restrictions, even if it is the smallest amount of restriction DOES harm the freeness (as in freedom) within a software. When a user downloads a FOSS software, that copy of the software should be owned by that user. If any restrictions are in place at all, even the smallest amount, that sense of ownership goes away.

As i said earlier i see this very problematic. Yet again i am no lawyer but here in Germany (and maybe the rest of continental Europe) there is no such thing as public domain in the same way there is in e.g. USA. Here we have something called “Urheberrecht” that is related to the term copyright but its not handled the same. The “Urheberrecht” (i call it german copyright for convenience now) is not transferrable. German copyright stays by its author – forever(for 70 years after the death of the author it is going to be “Gemeinfrei” that is roughly public domain). You can’t transfer it and you have it by law automatically. So in order to make your work accessible to someone else e.g. your employee you have to explicitly license your work by contract (for your employee) or a license agreement for your clients (in case you’re a photographer etc.) the german copyright stays with the author no matter what. There is no way to release the german copyright as an author to the public domain other than dying and waiting 70 years. So by changing the License of Redox to e.g. Unlicense i think i could no longer participate in the project legally and i think it could be problematic for companies in Germany to use Redox which would render it inaccessible. The current license is proven to work by German law and is widely used by German companies and has a very good reputation.

I am eager to hear your specific problems with the current license and in what ways a change to another one would resolve that problem in a way to further develop the discussion.

I was told that CCO was compatible anywhere on the world? Please tell me if I am wrong as I am a bit confused now.

I know for sure WTFPL isn’t accepted in some countries but I was told that CCO is compatible in all countries??

If CCO is accepted worldwide, I wanted to suggest to change to CCO as this would support the truly Free (as in freedom) and Open Source (FOSS). Which means that when the user downloads a FOSS software or source code, that copy should be the users completely. The user should own the copy of the source code or software. That is what FOSS means. The ability to change, to own the copy and do literally whatever the end user pleases. The copy should 100% completely be owned by the end user.

By placing ANY kinds of restriction, no matter how little this is, this limits the Freeness within the software. Thus this gives a sense of NOT owning the software to the end user.

Imagine you owned a software but you were restricted to do what you want to do with it. Would you personally feel like you owned the software at all?

I have read the CC-Zero/CC0 in a little more detail and a little secondary literature and it seams that CC-Zero has an escape hatch in which it “falls back” to a mode to uphold the e.g. German Law. The problem i see is, you gain nothing.

I don’t know what particular problem you have in mind but repeating the “support the truly Free (as in freedom) and Open Source (FOSS)” does not further develop the conversation.

You have to understand that there is no way to have the “user” of the software to “100% completely” own the software. You have two choices here:

  • Either forbid people to participate in the project from countries that have strong copyright laws (e.g. Germany, France, Austria [examples i know a little bit about copyright law])

  • Or use a License – like MIT – that upholds the Law in most (every?) countries.

MIT is an established License that is well known in the Software Community and software under this License is largely used by private and commercial entities. From my point of view, there is nothing to gain with either of those other mentioned Licenses. I asked several times if you can bring up a concrete example in which the current License can be a problem and one of those you brought up could fix that. But unfortunately you have not delivered such an example.

And just to reiterate, you can’t “100% completely” own software from people in countries that do not permit such a thing. So as a project to have such a goal, you need to “guard” it against contributions from such countries (e.g. Germany, France, Austria). The only sane way out is to have a very permissive license, and MIT delivers. You are still welcome to show how CC-Zero (the last License that is not ruled out like the others you brought up) is an advancement over the current one. Personally i see no gain in switching a License that brings nothing new to the table. It has also the disadvantage that CC-Zero is very unknown in the Software World which could turn people away from the project because they don’t know what that implies/means … MIT is very well understood.

May I understand with CCO, is it understood in most countries or not as I do not understand?

Lets just say that CCO was understood in most countries, I wanted to suggest such a license as it can be owned by people 100% completely. MIT nearly accomplishes this. That’s the only concrete conversation I have got. That is really the main reason why I suggested this license.

From what i can tell – still i am no lawyer – is that CC-Zero “falls back” to a mode that do not let you “100% completely” own the software. If I (from Germany) write software and publish it under CC-Zero you don’t “100% completely” own my software if you download it, because i am from Germany and law forbids to transfer my “Urheberrecht” (german copyright) to you or someone else. I still have my “Urheberrecht” and CC-Zero “just” grants you the right to use it (in whichever way you please) – just like MIT.

Oh ok, is it CCO or CC Zero, are they different licenses?

I understand. Lets say you are living in the US, would users then be able to 100% completely own the software?

From my understanding CC-Zero and CC0 is the same License (CC-Zero is very uncommon i try to use CC0 from now on). From what i understand of the U.S. copyright law – i would say that the software is public domain. Because “100% completely own” (which is a problematic term to begin with) would suggest that you have the copyright law over that piece of software which would imply that you can forbid other people to use/copy it – which would be nonsensical.

So the public domain means that everyone owns that software, I thought that public domain means that when a person has a copied version of the software, that person owns that copy?

Are you the head of this project?

My understanding of “public domain” is that it is free from copyrights so no one can enforce these right over a piece of public domain software. In that regard, no one owns (the copyright) but everybody is free to use it.

No, i am not. @jackpot51 is our BDFL

If Redox was CCO licensed and the devs lived in the US, if I decided to make my own distribution out of Redox, am I allowed to make my distribution proprietary if you wanted to?