Talk:Licenses

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Must remember to get permission from apache to modify their license, since it is copyrighted in itself. We wouldn't want to have a pirated license text would we ;) ?


If you are considering any other license scheme than GPL, which it said you were, LGPL must be the very next one considered, as it is viral but only to the library or schema level, i.e. does not infect anything that uses that code or library or schema at arm's length as long as it does not modify it. GFDL is actually more like LGPL because GFDL has Invariant Sections and other Secondary Sections to which the normal viral rules don't apply. These are like the calling code, or larger framework, that might rely on LGPL libraries.

As to the bad copy problem and self-interested fork, any viral license does something to stop them, but GPL is focused only on self-interested forks, and as a result bad copies proliferate by people with altriusm as a motive (even worse! 800 versions of Linux - bleagh - all with no support). And commercial ripoffs of ideas that first appeared in GPL are now happening but thankfully not succeeding. LGPL tries to cut back on the ideology and encourage standardization, private and public and consortium use of the same tools, which is a better way to address bad-copy but of course now each bit of code using it can be a self-interested version that does little but exploit the LGPL resource. This is open source and many think it's the worst of both worlds. Consortia like W3 or Java or X/Open or Apache or BSD or MySQL (at least originally when it had an "anyone but Microsoft" license) are better but harder-to-enforce attempts at providing incentives to cooperate and reasons not to create bad copies (public embarassment, as when Sun sued Microsoft) or self-interested forks (fear of lawsuits by the consortium) or either. In Microsoft's case this usually bad copies AND self-interested forks (the secret of their success, get people hooked on the bugs and making money addressing the limits).

You can't just pick a license for a part of a project at random. It ends up creating your success or failure. So this needs a LOT more discussion and it would be a serious mistake to make license choices just to get listed at sourceforge.net faster. There is talk of a Green Documentation License and Green Software License and even a Green Patent License in some circles. Any one could use the material but if they use it in ways that damage health or the environment they owe money "back to the planet, plants, animals and humans" they damage with this technology. We should not do anything that would make the people doing that, or even just talking about it, avoid Consumerium, calling it a "grey project" (GNU = grey in many minds, sees technology as a universal good, never a hazard, more roads more cars more computers more wires more robots etc.).

You need at least some statement of values or principles or an ethic of Consumerium:Itself before you go ahead with license choices, my untroll friend. For example, if your statement is troll-friendly, i.e. welcoming the anonymous, avoiding social reasons for cutting off instructional exchange, then you can expect more help than if you were asking for certifications of identity and fingerprints. That said, some things are better not said or asked.

Only you can decide what they are. But that is a policy decision, and if you make license decisions, that will set every contributor's right to say or ask what is said about, or done with, their contributions. The license decision should actually be last, for anything other than what is already necessarily a part of research (like XML schemas). You might want to add a note that the license under which material is available from consumerium may change and that one is giving up all rights except to participate in Consumerium governance however that works. That would stall off the questions and make it possble to change licenses based on constraints identified specific to Consumerium:Itself.

It's not sourceforge nerds you need here, it's people from NGOs and charities and churches and institutes that study fair trade, safe trade, ethical investing and moral purchasing (especially). Nerds want certainty, but those other groups want peace and justice. Only you can decide who to satisfy. - trolls, eternal.


One can change the license of a project later on (if it's legally possible for the license in question), but the source code released before the change will stay under the previous license.

Of course, but then there's a risk of competing with improvements to that source code that stay in the old license regime, maybe bad copy problems. There is lots of rightful social pressure against such changes as it splits community. Also "if it's legally possible for the license in question" is critical, as it constrains one to using licenses that actually allow such changes. Even so many are limited, like, GPL allows for successor versions of the GPL but doesn't even make it clear how to shift GPL material to LGPL.
For all these reasons we may be better off just changing the "Please note that..." to somehing like:

Please note that all contributions to the Consumerium Wiki are considered to be donated without obligation to the Consumerim Governance Organization with all rights and releases. These will be republished immediately in accord with best practices of materials under the GNU Free Documentation License, at the same URL as the material you chose to edit, within limits of our editorial and governance judgement. You are an equal participant in such judgement except for core questions which require specific legal and logistical and linguistic skill, where some expert judgement may guide the CGO in determining how best to factor and license contributions. In that case you have input into which experts to trust, again via the CGO. Regarding your specific contribution at this moment:

If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly and redistributed at will of the CGO, then don't submit it here. Should the project disband or fail to reach agreement on licenses, all material will be released under GFDL immediately. You are also promising us that you wrote this yourself or copied it from a public domain or otherwise free resource, and that no copyright claim whatsoever, other than your own, is required to republish this material here or done it without obligation to the CGO, or for release under the GFDL with no secondary or invariant sections, no front-cover or back-cover text, and without the normal obligations to credit authorship in an obvious and visible way. If you are contributing anonymously or pseudonymously, then in return for respect for your anonymity, you accept that we have no obligation to credit you at all. DO NOT SUBMIT COPYRIGHTED WORK WITHOUT PERMISSION REGISTERED WITH THE CGO.