Discussion:
Hacking License
(too old to reply)
Giacomo Tesio
2018-12-01 03:28:58 UTC
Permalink
Hi, I'm going to distribute a C library I wrote from scratch and with
no dependencies (except for some POSIX system calls) under a new
strong copyleft, the Hacking License.
AFAIK, it conforms to the DFGL and pass the three corner-case tests,
but I'd like to know your legal opinions and criticisms, as I'm going
to package such library for Debian too.
This license and the library it will cover are part of a larger hack
that includes an operating system ( http://jehanne.io ) and an
education method for kids (successfully tested in an elementary school
but still undocumented, sorry).
As you will read, its ultimate goal is to incentivize all users to
understand and modify the software they use, turning them to hackers.

You can find the text at http://www.tesio.it/documents/HACK.txt
(SHA256: 7c3bc821d8e32f644ff0cead738e3db1888e7f029c823189a74b3dcaae2be0ed),
but it is included after this message for your convenience.

Thanks for your feedback!

Giacomo


Hacking License
===============

Our Curiosity serves Humanity through Freedom, Candor and Communion.

This license grants you the right to hack with us, to learn what we ignore
and to challenge our assumptions by teaching us what you will learn.


1. Definitions
--------------

For the purpose of this License:

- "License" refers to this License.
- "Copyright" means copyright-like laws that apply to other literary works.
- "Hack" refers to the software, the documentation and the contents
distributed under this License.
- "Hacker" refers to any Copyright holder of the Hack.
- "Human" is every live being with humans among its genetic ancestors.
- "Application" refers to a set of software exchanging data.
- "Runtime" refers to any runtime system, any operating system, any
virtual machine and/or any interpreter that is required to run the Hack.
- "Source" refers to the human-readable form of a software which is the
most convenient for people to study and modify, and that can be used
to generate a new identical copy of the software itself.
- "User" refers to any human receiving a copy of the Hack or its source
and/or performing any action permitted by this License.
- To "study" a software means to perform any activity that could help
the User to deeply understand it, to understand how to modify it or to
explain its usage and inner working to other Users.
- To "copy" means to create an new exact copy of a software, for any
purpose and on any medium, even after applying one or more lossless
transformations to the software, including, but not limited to,
compression or encryption.
- To "distribute" means any action that enable a human or organization
to perform any of the activities permitted by this License.
- To "use" a software means to generate a new copy of the software from
its source, to run it for any purpose, to install it, to interact with
it through any medium or proxy (even asynchronously), to provide data
for its input or to consume its output (or any part of it), and/or to
store and use a Derived Work in place of the software itself.
- To "wrap" a software means to integrate it into an Application.
The programs that collect, store, transform and/or transfer data
for the User or between the User and the Hack are called "Wrappers".
Wrappers do not include any program or library that Users can find in
off-the-shelf distributions of the required Runtime, but include any
modified version of such programs, libraries, Runtime that are required
to run the Application.
The license of a Wrapper is compatible with this License if it grants
to the Users access to its source and the right to study, copy, use,
wrap, modify and/or distribute the Wrapper and/or the Application
and/or any modified version of them, in any form.
- To "modify" a software means to perform any action that would require
Copyright permission, except for studying, copying, using, wrapping
and distributing the software, including, but not limited to, to adapt
all or part of the software, to translate all or part of it to a
different language or form, to create or modify its documentation,
to refactor its source, or to combine the software or parts of it with
other works. The resulting work is called a "Derived Work", whereas
"Inspiring Hack" is the original work modified to create it.


2. Grants
---------

Permission is hereby granted to any User of the Hack to study, copy,
use, wrap, modify and/or distribute the Hack, and to distribute any
Derived Work under this License but with a different name and logo.

Furthermore, if the Hack is a Derived Work, the Hackers grant to the
copyright holders of the Inspiring Hack all rights, title and interests
in any copyright the Hackers have in the Hack.

Finally, a patent License to perform any of the actions permitted above
is granted to any User under the Hackers' essential patent claims.

These grants are free of charge, non-exclusive, valid everywhere in the
Universe, irrevocable (provided the stated conditions are met),
royalty-free and can be transferred to third parties with the Hack,
its source or any Derived Work but for no charge.

This License does not grant any rights in the names, trade names,
trademarks, service marks, or logos of the Hackers, except as required
for reasonable and customary use in describing the origin of the Hack
and reproducing the content of the copyright notice.


3. Conditions
-------------

The grants provided by this License are subject to the following conditions:

1. The Hackers' copyright notice and this License shall be included in
all copies or substantial portions of the Hack and of any Derived Work.
2. The source of the Hack shall be made available with the Hack and/or
by other reasonable means to every User, according to this License
and without additional constraints or requirements, such as further
agreements, any royalty or other fee.
3. All Wrappers used to integrate the Hack into an Application shall be
made available (either with the Hack and/or by other reasonable means)
to every User under either this License or compatible ones, so that
Users can modify and/or run the whole Application on their own hardware.
4. The tools, dependencies and know-how required to perform any of the
activities permitted by this License shall be made available to the
User with the source of the Hack (except for those tools and
dependencies that are already available to every User either free of
charge or in off-the-shelf distributions of the Runtime) and without
additional constraints or requirements, such as further agreements, any
royalty or other fee.
5. No restriction or impediment, neither technical, legal or otherwise,
shall prevent, hinder or inhibit the fruition of the rights provided
by this License to any User of both the Hack and any Derived Work.
6. No patent infringement litigation claim (excluding counterclaims and
cross-claims) alleging that all or part of the Hack directly or
indirectly infringes a patent shall be initialized by the User.
7. The User has never violated any of the previous conditions.
8. All of these conditions shall be valid and enforceable under the
jurisdiction of the User.


4. Termination
--------------

Failing to comply to the conditions of this License shall automatically
terminate the grants provided, without affecting other parties who have
received copies or rights from the User under this License.


5. Severability
---------------

The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of this License does
not affect the validity or enforceability of the remainder of this License.
Such provision is to be reformed to the minimum extent necessary to make
it valid and enforceable.


6. No Warranty and Limitation of Liability
------------------------------------------

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR
IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY,
FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE
AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER
LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING
FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER
DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.


7. Use and distribution of the Hacking License
----------------------------------------------

This version of the Hacking License was written on December 01, 2018.

Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this
document, but changing it is not allowed.

Copyright (C) 2018 Giacomo Tesio
Daniel Hakimi
2018-12-01 03:57:32 UTC
Permalink
Why?

This license is only more work for the community to understand, and
incompatible with everything else out there. What's the upside of using
your own license over the GPL?

Regards,

Daniel J. Hakimi
B.S. Philosophy, RPI 2012
B.S. Computer Science, RPI 2012
J.D. Cardozo Law 2015
Post by Giacomo Tesio
Hi, I'm going to distribute a C library I wrote from scratch and with
no dependencies (except for some POSIX system calls) under a new
strong copyleft, the Hacking License.
AFAIK, it conforms to the DFGL and pass the three corner-case tests,
but I'd like to know your legal opinions and criticisms, as I'm going
to package such library for Debian too.
This license and the library it will cover are part of a larger hack
that includes an operating system ( http://jehanne.io ) and an
education method for kids (successfully tested in an elementary school
but still undocumented, sorry).
As you will read, its ultimate goal is to incentivize all users to
understand and modify the software they use, turning them to hackers.
You can find the text at http://www.tesio.it/documents/HACK.txt
(SHA256: 7c3bc821d8e32f644ff0cead738e3db1888e7f029c823189a74b3dcaae2be0ed),
but it is included after this message for your convenience.
Thanks for your feedback!
Giacomo
Hacking License
===============
Our Curiosity serves Humanity through Freedom, Candor and Communion.
This license grants you the right to hack with us, to learn what we ignore
and to challenge our assumptions by teaching us what you will learn.
1. Definitions
--------------
- "License" refers to this License.
- "Copyright" means copyright-like laws that apply to other literary works.
- "Hack" refers to the software, the documentation and the contents
distributed under this License.
- "Hacker" refers to any Copyright holder of the Hack.
- "Human" is every live being with humans among its genetic ancestors.
- "Application" refers to a set of software exchanging data.
- "Runtime" refers to any runtime system, any operating system, any
virtual machine and/or any interpreter that is required to run the Hack.
- "Source" refers to the human-readable form of a software which is the
most convenient for people to study and modify, and that can be used
to generate a new identical copy of the software itself.
- "User" refers to any human receiving a copy of the Hack or its source
and/or performing any action permitted by this License.
- To "study" a software means to perform any activity that could help
the User to deeply understand it, to understand how to modify it or to
explain its usage and inner working to other Users.
- To "copy" means to create an new exact copy of a software, for any
purpose and on any medium, even after applying one or more lossless
transformations to the software, including, but not limited to,
compression or encryption.
- To "distribute" means any action that enable a human or organization
to perform any of the activities permitted by this License.
- To "use" a software means to generate a new copy of the software from
its source, to run it for any purpose, to install it, to interact with
it through any medium or proxy (even asynchronously), to provide data
for its input or to consume its output (or any part of it), and/or to
store and use a Derived Work in place of the software itself.
- To "wrap" a software means to integrate it into an Application.
The programs that collect, store, transform and/or transfer data
for the User or between the User and the Hack are called "Wrappers".
Wrappers do not include any program or library that Users can find in
off-the-shelf distributions of the required Runtime, but include any
modified version of such programs, libraries, Runtime that are required
to run the Application.
The license of a Wrapper is compatible with this License if it grants
to the Users access to its source and the right to study, copy, use,
wrap, modify and/or distribute the Wrapper and/or the Application
and/or any modified version of them, in any form.
- To "modify" a software means to perform any action that would require
Copyright permission, except for studying, copying, using, wrapping
and distributing the software, including, but not limited to, to adapt
all or part of the software, to translate all or part of it to a
different language or form, to create or modify its documentation,
to refactor its source, or to combine the software or parts of it with
other works. The resulting work is called a "Derived Work", whereas
"Inspiring Hack" is the original work modified to create it.
2. Grants
---------
Permission is hereby granted to any User of the Hack to study, copy,
use, wrap, modify and/or distribute the Hack, and to distribute any
Derived Work under this License but with a different name and logo.
Furthermore, if the Hack is a Derived Work, the Hackers grant to the
copyright holders of the Inspiring Hack all rights, title and interests
in any copyright the Hackers have in the Hack.
Finally, a patent License to perform any of the actions permitted above
is granted to any User under the Hackers' essential patent claims.
These grants are free of charge, non-exclusive, valid everywhere in the
Universe, irrevocable (provided the stated conditions are met),
royalty-free and can be transferred to third parties with the Hack,
its source or any Derived Work but for no charge.
This License does not grant any rights in the names, trade names,
trademarks, service marks, or logos of the Hackers, except as required
for reasonable and customary use in describing the origin of the Hack
and reproducing the content of the copyright notice.
3. Conditions
-------------
1. The Hackers' copyright notice and this License shall be included in
all copies or substantial portions of the Hack and of any Derived Work.
2. The source of the Hack shall be made available with the Hack and/or
by other reasonable means to every User, according to this License
and without additional constraints or requirements, such as further
agreements, any royalty or other fee.
3. All Wrappers used to integrate the Hack into an Application shall be
made available (either with the Hack and/or by other reasonable means)
to every User under either this License or compatible ones, so that
Users can modify and/or run the whole Application on their own hardware.
4. The tools, dependencies and know-how required to perform any of the
activities permitted by this License shall be made available to the
User with the source of the Hack (except for those tools and
dependencies that are already available to every User either free of
charge or in off-the-shelf distributions of the Runtime) and without
additional constraints or requirements, such as further agreements, any
royalty or other fee.
5. No restriction or impediment, neither technical, legal or otherwise,
shall prevent, hinder or inhibit the fruition of the rights provided
by this License to any User of both the Hack and any Derived Work.
6. No patent infringement litigation claim (excluding counterclaims and
cross-claims) alleging that all or part of the Hack directly or
indirectly infringes a patent shall be initialized by the User.
7. The User has never violated any of the previous conditions.
8. All of these conditions shall be valid and enforceable under the
jurisdiction of the User.
4. Termination
--------------
Failing to comply to the conditions of this License shall automatically
terminate the grants provided, without affecting other parties who have
received copies or rights from the User under this License.
5. Severability
---------------
The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of this License does
not affect the validity or enforceability of the remainder of this License.
Such provision is to be reformed to the minimum extent necessary to make
it valid and enforceable.
6. No Warranty and Limitation of Liability
------------------------------------------
THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR
IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY,
FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE
AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER
LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING
FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER
DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.
7. Use and distribution of the Hacking License
----------------------------------------------
This version of the Hacking License was written on December 01, 2018.
Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this
document, but changing it is not allowed.
Copyright (C) 2018 Giacomo Tesio
Giacomo
2018-12-01 11:14:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daniel Hakimi
Why?
Ehm... because no existing license is equivalent?
Post by Daniel Hakimi
This license is only more work for the community to understand
Hopefully this will be a worth investment.
Post by Daniel Hakimi
and incompatible with everything else out there.
Did you read it?
Why should it be incomparable with MIT or BSD?
Post by Daniel Hakimi
What's the upside of using your own license over the GPL?
There are several advantages over GPLv2, GPLv3 and AGPLv3.

To be honest, I thought they were be pretty evident from the text, but feel free to ask if you find something unclear.

Some of the evident advantages over the GNU licenses are:

- no need to trust a central authority upgrades to the license
- no need for CLAs, FLAs or abusable copyright assignment.
- possibility of dual licensing but only if the different distributions exactly match
- no SaaSS loopholes thanks to the wrapping conditions that are still compatible with all the FSF OSI approved licenses and with the Debian guidelines
- clear recognition of users' right to understand the software they interact with

Basically it's a stronger copyleft with way less legalese and in a quarter of the AGPL's length.


There would be a lot more to add here, but I've already spent 6 months to write a license and I can't spend 6 more to write a mail :-)

So I'd really appreciate if you could read it before deciding you don't like it.


Giacomo
Post by Daniel Hakimi
Post by Giacomo Tesio
Hacking License
===============
Our Curiosity serves Humanity through Freedom, Candor and Communion.
This license grants you the right to hack with us, to learn what we
ignore
Post by Giacomo Tesio
and to challenge our assumptions by teaching us what you will learn.
1. Definitions
--------------
- "License" refers to this License.
- "Copyright" means copyright-like laws that apply to other literary
works.
Post by Giacomo Tesio
- "Hack" refers to the software, the documentation and the contents
distributed under this License.
- "Hacker" refers to any Copyright holder of the Hack.
- "Human" is every live being with humans among its genetic
ancestors.
Post by Giacomo Tesio
- "Application" refers to a set of software exchanging data.
- "Runtime" refers to any runtime system, any operating system, any
virtual machine and/or any interpreter that is required to run the
Hack.
Post by Giacomo Tesio
- "Source" refers to the human-readable form of a software which is
the
Post by Giacomo Tesio
most convenient for people to study and modify, and that can be
used
Post by Giacomo Tesio
to generate a new identical copy of the software itself.
- "User" refers to any human receiving a copy of the Hack or its
source
Post by Giacomo Tesio
and/or performing any action permitted by this License.
- To "study" a software means to perform any activity that could help
the User to deeply understand it, to understand how to modify it or
to
Post by Giacomo Tesio
explain its usage and inner working to other Users.
- To "copy" means to create an new exact copy of a software, for any
purpose and on any medium, even after applying one or more lossless
transformations to the software, including, but not limited to,
compression or encryption.
- To "distribute" means any action that enable a human or
organization
Post by Giacomo Tesio
to perform any of the activities permitted by this License.
- To "use" a software means to generate a new copy of the software
from
Post by Giacomo Tesio
its source, to run it for any purpose, to install it, to interact
with
Post by Giacomo Tesio
it through any medium or proxy (even asynchronously), to provide
data
Post by Giacomo Tesio
for its input or to consume its output (or any part of it), and/or
to
Post by Giacomo Tesio
store and use a Derived Work in place of the software itself.
- To "wrap" a software means to integrate it into an Application.
The programs that collect, store, transform and/or transfer data
for the User or between the User and the Hack are called
"Wrappers".
Post by Giacomo Tesio
Wrappers do not include any program or library that Users can find
in
Post by Giacomo Tesio
off-the-shelf distributions of the required Runtime, but include
any
Post by Giacomo Tesio
modified version of such programs, libraries, Runtime that are
required
Post by Giacomo Tesio
to run the Application.
The license of a Wrapper is compatible with this License if it
grants
Post by Giacomo Tesio
to the Users access to its source and the right to study, copy,
use,
Post by Giacomo Tesio
wrap, modify and/or distribute the Wrapper and/or the Application
and/or any modified version of them, in any form.
- To "modify" a software means to perform any action that would
require
Post by Giacomo Tesio
Copyright permission, except for studying, copying, using, wrapping
and distributing the software, including, but not limited to, to
adapt
Post by Giacomo Tesio
all or part of the software, to translate all or part of it to a
different language or form, to create or modify its documentation,
to refactor its source, or to combine the software or parts of it
with
Post by Giacomo Tesio
other works. The resulting work is called a "Derived Work", whereas
"Inspiring Hack" is the original work modified to create it.
2. Grants
---------
Permission is hereby granted to any User of the Hack to study, copy,
use, wrap, modify and/or distribute the Hack, and to distribute any
Derived Work under this License but with a different name and logo.
Furthermore, if the Hack is a Derived Work, the Hackers grant to the
copyright holders of the Inspiring Hack all rights, title and
interests
Post by Giacomo Tesio
in any copyright the Hackers have in the Hack.
Finally, a patent License to perform any of the actions permitted
above
Post by Giacomo Tesio
is granted to any User under the Hackers' essential patent claims.
These grants are free of charge, non-exclusive, valid everywhere in
the
Post by Giacomo Tesio
Universe, irrevocable (provided the stated conditions are met),
royalty-free and can be transferred to third parties with the Hack,
its source or any Derived Work but for no charge.
This License does not grant any rights in the names, trade names,
trademarks, service marks, or logos of the Hackers, except as
required
Post by Giacomo Tesio
for reasonable and customary use in describing the origin of the Hack
and reproducing the content of the copyright notice.
3. Conditions
-------------
1. The Hackers' copyright notice and this License shall be included
in
Post by Giacomo Tesio
all copies or substantial portions of the Hack and of any Derived
Work.
Post by Giacomo Tesio
2. The source of the Hack shall be made available with the Hack
and/or
Post by Giacomo Tesio
by other reasonable means to every User, according to this License
and without additional constraints or requirements, such as
further
Post by Giacomo Tesio
agreements, any royalty or other fee.
3. All Wrappers used to integrate the Hack into an Application shall
be
Post by Giacomo Tesio
made available (either with the Hack and/or by other reasonable
means)
Post by Giacomo Tesio
to every User under either this License or compatible ones, so
that
Post by Giacomo Tesio
Users can modify and/or run the whole Application on their own
hardware.
Post by Giacomo Tesio
4. The tools, dependencies and know-how required to perform any of
the
Post by Giacomo Tesio
activities permitted by this License shall be made available to
the
Post by Giacomo Tesio
User with the source of the Hack (except for those tools and
dependencies that are already available to every User either free
of
Post by Giacomo Tesio
charge or in off-the-shelf distributions of the Runtime) and
without
Post by Giacomo Tesio
additional constraints or requirements, such as further
agreements, any
Post by Giacomo Tesio
royalty or other fee.
5. No restriction or impediment, neither technical, legal or
otherwise,
Post by Giacomo Tesio
shall prevent, hinder or inhibit the fruition of the rights
provided
Post by Giacomo Tesio
by this License to any User of both the Hack and any Derived Work.
6. No patent infringement litigation claim (excluding counterclaims
and
Post by Giacomo Tesio
cross-claims) alleging that all or part of the Hack directly or
indirectly infringes a patent shall be initialized by the User.
7. The User has never violated any of the previous conditions.
8. All of these conditions shall be valid and enforceable under the
jurisdiction of the User.
4. Termination
--------------
Failing to comply to the conditions of this License shall
automatically
Post by Giacomo Tesio
terminate the grants provided, without affecting other parties who
have
Post by Giacomo Tesio
received copies or rights from the User under this License.
5. Severability
---------------
The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of this License
does
Post by Giacomo Tesio
not affect the validity or enforceability of the remainder of this
License.
Post by Giacomo Tesio
Such provision is to be reformed to the minimum extent necessary to
make
Post by Giacomo Tesio
it valid and enforceable.
6. No Warranty and Limitation of Liability
------------------------------------------
THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND,
EXPRESS OR
Post by Giacomo Tesio
IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF
MERCHANTABILITY,
Post by Giacomo Tesio
FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT
SHALL THE
Post by Giacomo Tesio
AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR
OTHER
Post by Giacomo Tesio
LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE,
ARISING
Post by Giacomo Tesio
FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER
DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.
7. Use and distribution of the Hacking License
----------------------------------------------
This version of the Hacking License was written on December 01, 2018.
Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this
document, but changing it is not allowed.
Copyright (C) 2018 Giacomo Tesio
Bradley M. Kuhn
2018-12-01 19:02:23 UTC
Permalink
I'm curious if you'd looked at copyleft-next and possibly joining its
drafting community. Some of your copyleft licensing ideas are interesting;
some of them I think are bad copyleft policy.

Rather than drafting a license on your own, maybe you would be willing to
talk with the copyleft-next community, work with us over there, and perhaps
improve copyleft-next in ways you can find it to be good enough for your
needs.

A lot of the ideas in your license have been discussed for years on
copyleft-next.

The mailing list is here:
https://lists.fedorahosted.org/admin/lists/copyleft-next.lists.fedorahosted.org/

Source is here:

https://github.com/copyleft-next/copyleft-next
--
Bradley M. Kuhn

Pls. support the charity where I work, Software Freedom Conservancy:
https://sfconservancy.org/supporter/
Giacomo
2018-12-01 21:28:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bradley M. Kuhn
I'm curious if you'd looked at copyleft-next
Yes, I followed the work of Fontana for a while (actually way before considering to write the Hacking License).
Post by Bradley M. Kuhn
and possibly joining its drafting community.
This is a good idea actually, I guess they could share interesting feedbacks.
Note however that outbound GPL compatibility as defined by copyleft-next would defeat the purpose of any copyleft stronger than GPL.
Post by Bradley M. Kuhn
Some of your copyleft licensing ideas are
interesting;
some of them I think are bad copyleft policy.
I'd really appreciate if you could point out these bad copyleft policy explicitly, in particular if they mean that the license would be somehow incompatible with Debian guidelines.
Post by Bradley M. Kuhn
Rather than drafting a license on your own, maybe you would be willing to
talk with the copyleft-next community, work with us over there, and perhaps
improve copyleft-next in ways you can find it to be good enough for
your needs.
Well... I accept the invite and I will surely join your mailing list.

But the Hacking License is here to stay.
As I said it's part of a bigger project that is outlined in the preamble.

Though, I have to say that one of the reasons I decided to finally publish the license as it is now was reading your article at https://sfconservancy.org/blog/2018/oct/16/mongodb-copyleft-drafting/

I strongly disagree with the entry-barriers you propose there.
An in depth discussion would be off topic here, but hackers wrote their licenses for decades and while I appreciate GNU licenses, we have to resist to GroupThink and power playing wherever it comes from.
Post by Bradley M. Kuhn
A lot of the ideas in your license have been discussed for years on
copyleft-next.
https://lists.fedorahosted.org/admin/lists/copyleft-next.lists.fedorahosted.org/
I gave a look to the archives some months ago but I didn't recall much activity, do you have specific threads to suggest?


Giacomo
Giacomo Tesio
2018-12-03 10:12:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Giacomo
Post by Bradley M. Kuhn
Rather than drafting a license on your own, maybe you would be willing to
talk with the copyleft-next community, work with us over there, and perhaps
improve copyleft-next in ways you can find it to be good enough for
your needs.
Well... I accept the invite and I will surely join your mailing list.
For your info, here is the related thread
https://lists.fedorahosted.org/archives/list/copyleft-***@lists.fedorahosted.org/thread/O5PZ6WVDNS26QQE337HTAY35DOOROOPH/

All feedbacks are welcome, here and there as appropriate.


Giacomo
Francesco Poli
2018-12-01 10:56:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Giacomo Tesio
Hi, I'm going to distribute a C library I wrote from scratch and with
no dependencies (except for some POSIX system calls) under a new
strong copyleft, the Hacking License.
Hello,
thanks for writing a new library and for willing to distribute it
as free software.

As far as the licensing choice is concerned, please try hard and avoid
writing your own custom license.
A newly written license, especially a strong copyleft one, adds to the
already rampant license proliferation craziness (which is bad in
itself) and is incompatible with many other licenses (thus causing more
headaches to everyone in the community).

Please do really consider adopting the GNU GPL v2, if you want a strong
copyleft license.
Post by Giacomo Tesio
AFAIK, it conforms to the DFGL and pass the three corner-case tests,
but I'd like to know your legal opinions and criticisms, as I'm going
to package such library for Debian too.
I don't think that software released under the "Hacking License"
complies with the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG).

What follows is a list of comments and thoughts about the license text.
I am a bit in a rush, hence I may have missed some issues.
This is not a thorough analysis (and I am not a lawyer, I do not speak
on behalf of the Debian Project, I am just a Debian external
contributor).


[...]
Post by Giacomo Tesio
Hacking License
===============
[...]
Post by Giacomo Tesio
1. Definitions
--------------
[...]

Some definitions are really awkward and counter-intuitive.
They may have unintended consequences on the rest of the license...

[...]
Post by Giacomo Tesio
2. Grants
---------
Permission is hereby granted to any User of the Hack to study, copy,
use, wrap, modify and/or distribute the Hack, and to distribute any
Derived Work under this License but with a different name and logo.
The requirement to change the name is permitted by DFSG#4, but is
discouraged.
The requirement to change logo is not as clearly permitted.
Post by Giacomo Tesio
Furthermore, if the Hack is a Derived Work, the Hackers grant to the
copyright holders of the Inspiring Hack all rights, title and interests
in any copyright the Hackers have in the Hack.
This seems to effectively transfer the rights in the Derived Work to
the copyright holders of the original work ("Inspiring Hack"),
As a consequence, the copyright holders of the original work get many
more rights on the Derived Work than anyone else.

I don't think this clause complies with the DFSG.
I would say it fails DFSG#3, since I cannot distribute a derived work
to the author of the original work under the same terms as the license
of the original work, since I am forced to grant more rights.

[...]
Post by Giacomo Tesio
3. Conditions
-------------
[...]
Post by Giacomo Tesio
2. The source of the Hack shall be made available with the Hack and/or
by other reasonable means to every User, according to this License
and without additional constraints or requirements, such as further
agreements, any royalty or other fee.
This seems to allow binary package distributions (as done by the Debian
mirror network) just because of the "or by other reasonable means"
phrase. I hope it can be considered enough, but I am not sure it would
hold water in a court of law...

[...]
Post by Giacomo Tesio
4. The tools, dependencies and know-how required to perform any of the
activities permitted by this License shall be made available to the
User with the source of the Hack (except for those tools and
dependencies that are already available to every User either free of
charge or in off-the-shelf distributions of the Runtime) and without
additional constraints or requirements, such as further agreements, any
royalty or other fee.
This seems to be troublesome, although well-meaning.
If for instance the work is written in the Ruby programming language,
the clause could be interpreted as requiring to make a full programming
course about the Ruby language available.

[...]
Post by Giacomo Tesio
6. No patent infringement litigation claim (excluding counterclaims and
cross-claims) alleging that all or part of the Hack directly or
indirectly infringes a patent shall be initialized by the User.
This is controversial and has been discussed several times on
debian-legal, with different opinions expressed by many people.
It _may_ comply with the DFSG, but I am not sure.
Post by Giacomo Tesio
7. The User has never violated any of the previous conditions.
[...]

This lacks a forgiving provision.

I mean: it seems that a User who has done wrong once, can never be
forgiven and will never again be granted any rights by this license
(maybe even for *any* work under the Hacking License, not only for the
work the violation was about...).
I don't think this is fair.
--
http://www.inventati.org/frx/
There's not a second to spare! To the laboratory!
..................................................... Francesco Poli .
GnuPG key fpr == CA01 1147 9CD2 EFDF FB82 3925 3E1C 27E1 1F69 BFFE
Giacomo
2018-12-01 13:36:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Francesco Poli
Hello,
thanks for writing a new library and for willing to distribute it as free software.
Hi Francesco, thanks to you for reading and commenting the license.
Post by Francesco Poli
As far as the licensing choice is concerned, please try hard and avoid
writing your own custom license.
I appreciate your advice but I really thought hard about this, I know the previous debates and the stigma on hackers writing their own license.

AGPLv3 has been my default choice since it exists but now I realised it's not strong enough for the goals of the software I'm going to distribute.

As you might guess if you looks at Jehanne operating system (and actually from the license itself), my goals are pretty different from the ones of companies trying to maximise their revenues by over limiting the freedom of their users.
Post by Francesco Poli
A newly written license, especially a strong copyleft one, adds to the
already rampant license proliferation craziness (which is bad in
itself) and is incompatible with many other licenses (thus causing more
headaches to everyone in the community).
Consider that the library I'd like to distribute to Debian is a sort of compatibility layer to ease the interaction of Unix users with Jehanne.

Jehanne is a new distributed operating system, so I'm in control of the software I'm gonna port and I could just NOT port incompatible one, because the goal is not the software, not even Jehanne, but the Freedom of the users.
Post by Francesco Poli
Please do really consider adopting the GNU GPL v2, if you want a strong copyleft license.
I have read and carefully considered all the free licenses listed by FSF pages.

Unfortunately none matches the needs of my vision.
Post by Francesco Poli
Post by Giacomo Tesio
AFAIK, it conforms to the DFGL and pass the three corner-case tests,
but I'd like to know your legal opinions and criticisms, as I'm going
to package such library for Debian too.
I don't think that software released under the "Hacking License"
complies with the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG).
I'm more than happy to discuss the matter and adjust the wording when needed.
Post by Francesco Poli
[...]
Post by Giacomo Tesio
Hacking License
===============
[...]
Post by Giacomo Tesio
1. Definitions
--------------
[...]
Some definitions are really awkward and counter-intuitive.
They may have unintended consequences on the rest of the license...
They have been carefully crafted to have intended consequences on the rest of the license.

Being awkward and counterintuitive is not a problem if they are clear and they are at the beginning of the license to instantly clarify that while readable, this licence is NOT obvious and requires a careful read and understanding.

Given that, if you see specific problems in the definitions I'd really like to know and possibly address them.
Post by Francesco Poli
[...]
Post by Giacomo Tesio
2. Grants
---------
Permission is hereby granted to any User of the Hack to study, copy,
use, wrap, modify and/or distribute the Hack, and to distribute any
Derived Work under this License but with a different name and logo.
The requirement to change the name is permitted by DFSG#4, but is
discouraged.
The requirement to change logo is not as clearly permitted.
This seems a bit strange, I added that "but..." after reading it in a FSF approved license (but unfortunately I cannot recall which one).

I can remove "and logo" if it turns out to be incompatible with Debian guidelines, but I'd like to know more about the incompatibility.

Any license as been defined as not-free by Debian in the past because of this?
Post by Francesco Poli
Post by Giacomo Tesio
Furthermore, if the Hack is a Derived Work, the Hackers grant to the
copyright holders of the Inspiring Hack all rights, title and
interests
Post by Giacomo Tesio
in any copyright the Hackers have in the Hack.
This seems to effectively transfer the rights in the Derived Work to
the copyright holders of the original work ("Inspiring Hack"),
It doesn't trasfer the copyright but shares it with them along with the Hack.
Post by Francesco Poli
As a consequence, the copyright holders of the original work get many
more rights on the Derived Work than anyone else.
Not just more rights but more constraints.
If they violate the conditions once they would lose the copyrights they received with any Derived Work, with interesting outcomes (that would not affect the rights of others who had received rights from them)
Post by Francesco Poli
I don't think this clause complies with the DFSG.
I would say it fails DFSG#3, since I cannot distribute a derived work
to the author of the original work under the same terms as the license
of the original work, since I am forced to grant more rights.
You must distribute the Derived Work under the same license that defines the term and conditions.

The copyright assignment that the Hacking License requires is designed to be resilient to abuses but yet give the flexibility to address new attacks to user freedom.
Post by Francesco Poli
[...]
Post by Giacomo Tesio
3. Conditions
-------------
The grants provided by this License are subject to the following
[...]
Post by Giacomo Tesio
2. The source of the Hack shall be made available with the Hack
and/or
Post by Giacomo Tesio
by other reasonable means to every User, according to this License
and without additional constraints or requirements, such as
further
Post by Giacomo Tesio
agreements, any royalty or other fee.
This seems to allow binary package distributions (as done by the Debian
mirror network) just because of the "or by other reasonable means"
phrase. I hope it can be considered enough, but I am not sure it would
hold water in a court of law...
As far as I can remember, AGPLv3 has a similar wording.
Post by Francesco Poli
[...]
Post by Giacomo Tesio
4. The tools, dependencies and know-how required to perform any of
the
Post by Giacomo Tesio
activities permitted by this License shall be made available to
the
Post by Giacomo Tesio
User with the source of the Hack (except for those tools and
dependencies that are already available to every User either free
of
Post by Giacomo Tesio
charge or in off-the-shelf distributions of the Runtime) and
without
Post by Giacomo Tesio
additional constraints or requirements, such as further
agreements, any
Post by Giacomo Tesio
royalty or other fee.
This seems to be troublesome, although well-meaning.
If for instance the work is written in the Ruby programming language,
the clause could be interpreted as requiring to make a full programming
course about the Ruby language available.
Well this would be a stretch of the license that I don't think a judge would consider, but I welcome suggestions for adjusting the wording.

The know how to be included should exclude what is already available for free to the users by other reasonable means.

The fundamental right I'm trying to grant here is self-hosting of Applications that integrate the Hack.
Post by Francesco Poli
[...]
Post by Giacomo Tesio
6. No patent infringement litigation claim (excluding counterclaims
and
Post by Giacomo Tesio
cross-claims) alleging that all or part of the Hack directly or
indirectly infringes a patent shall be initialized by the User.
This is controversial and has been discussed several times on
debian-legal, with different opinions expressed by many people.
It _may_ comply with the DFSG, but I am not sure.
No problem, thanks for pointing it out
Let's wait for more definitive opinions...
Post by Francesco Poli
Post by Giacomo Tesio
7. The User has never violated any of the previous conditions.
[...]
This lacks a forgiving provision.
It's on purpose.
Previous bad experiences with violations of my GPLv2 works shows that forgiving provision would be abused by the strongest party.
Post by Francesco Poli
I mean: it seems that a User who has done wrong once, can never be
forgiven and will never again be granted any rights by this license
(maybe even for *any* work under the Hacking License, not only for the
work the violation was about...).
I don't think this is fair.
No, the license only covers a specific Hack and it's derivatives.
Thus temination would be limited to these works.


Giacomo
Giacomo Tesio
2018-12-04 00:34:05 UTC
Permalink
Hi, I've just published a new version of the Hacking License that
receipts some of the objections proposed on debian-legal and on
copyleft-next.

In particular, I have
1) removed requirement to change the logo (see [1] from Francesco Poli).
That requirements was not there to protect the brand of the authors but
to protect the users from being fooled to use a modified version
instead of the original;
2) left requirement to change the name, because the definition of "use"
already allows the users to store a Derived Work in place of the Hack;
3) clarified the permissions granted to organizations, that can only copy
and/or distribute the Hack (see [2] from Paul Jakma);
4) slighly improved the Preamble

The canonical url is still at http://www.tesio.it/documents/HACK.txt
(SHA256: 8d1892282d2335d5b9bc3f4656123bc18cbb2ce479def922a896a75005b3d738)

[1] https://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2018/12/msg00002.html
[2] https://bit.ly/2BNJvkE

I would really appreciate further feedbacks.


Giacomo
_____

Hacking License
===============

Our Curiosity serves Humanity through Freedom, Candor and Communion.

This license grants you the right to hack with us, to explore ways we
ignore and to challenge our assumptions by teaching us what you will learn.


1. Definitions
--------------

For the purpose of this License:

- "License" refers to this License.
- "Copyright" means copyright-like laws that apply to other literary works.
- "Hack" refers to the software, the documentation and the contents
distributed under this License.
- "Hacker" refers to any Copyright holder of the Hack.
- "Human" is every live being with humans among its genetic ancestors.
- "Application" refers to a set of software exchanging data.
- "Runtime" refers to any runtime system, any operating system, any
virtual machine and/or any interpreter that is required to run the Hack.
- "Source" refers to the human-readable form of a software which is the
most convenient for people to study and modify, and that can be used
to generate a new identical copy of the software itself.
- "User" refers to any human receiving a copy of the Hack or its source
and/or performing any action permitted by this License.
- To "study" a software means to perform any activity that could help
the User to deeply understand it, to understand how to modify it or to
explain its usage and inner working to other Users.
- To "copy" means to create an new exact copy of a software, for any
purpose and on any medium, even after applying one or more lossless
transformations to the software, including, but not limited to,
compression or encryption.
- To "distribute" means any action that enables a human to perform any of
the activities permitted by this License.
- To "use" a software means to generate a new copy of the software from
its source, to run it for any purpose, to install it, to interact with
it through any medium or proxy (even asynchronously), to provide data
used for its input or to consume its output (or any part of it), and/or
to store and use a Derived Work in place of the software itself.
- To "wrap" a software means to integrate it into an Application.
The programs that collect, store, transform and/or transfer data
for the User or between the User and the Hack are called "Wrappers".
Wrappers do not include any program or library that Users can find in
off-the-shelf distributions of the required Runtime, but include any
modified version of such programs, libraries, Runtime that are required
to run the Application.
The license of a Wrapper is compatible with this License if it grants
to the Users access to its source and the right to study, copy, use,
wrap, modify and/or distribute the Wrapper and/or the Application
and/or any modified version of them, in any form.
- To "modify" a software means to perform any action that would require
Copyright permission, except for studying, copying, using, wrapping
and distributing the software, including, but not limited to, to adapt
all or part of the software, to translate all or part of it to a
different language or form, to create or modify its documentation,
to refactor its source, or to combine the software or parts of it with
other works. The resulting work is called a "Derived Work", whereas
"Inspiring Hack" is the original work modified to create it.


2. Grants
---------

Permission is hereby granted to any User of the Hack to study, copy,
use, wrap, modify and/or distribute the Hack, and to distribute any
Derived Work under this License but with a different name.

Furthermore, if the Hack is a Derived Work, the Hackers grant to the
copyright holders of the Inspiring Hack all rights, title and interests
in any copyright the Hackers have in the Hack.

Finally, a patent License to perform any of the actions permitted above
is granted to any User under the Hackers' essential patent claims.

These grants are subject to the Conditions below, free of charge,
non-exclusive, valid everywhere in the Universe, irrevocable (provided the
stated Conditions are met), royalty-free and can be transferred to third
parties with the Hack, its source or any Derived Work but for no charge.

Organizations may copy and/or distribute the Hack on behalf and under the
responsibility of their members and according to this License.

This License does not grant any rights in the names, trade names,
trademarks, service marks, or logos of the Hackers, except as required
for reasonable and customary use in describing the origin of the Hack
and reproducing the content of the copyright notice.


3. Conditions
-------------

The grants provided by this License are subject to the following conditions:

1. The Hackers' copyright notice and this License shall be included in
all copies or substantial portions of the Hack and of any Derived Work.
2. The source of the Hack shall be made available with the Hack and/or
by other reasonable means to every User, according to this License
and without additional constraints or requirements, such as further
agreements, any royalty or other fee.
3. All Wrappers used to integrate the Hack into an Application shall be
made available (either with the Hack and/or by other reasonable means)
to every User under either this License or compatible ones, so that
Users can modify and/or run the whole Application on their own hardware.
4. The tools, dependencies and know-how required to perform any of the
activities permitted by this License shall be made available to the
User with the source of the Hack (except for those tools and
dependencies that are already available to every User either free of
charge or in off-the-shelf distributions of the Runtime) and without
additional constraints or requirements, such as further agreements, any
royalty or other fee.
5. No restriction or impediment, neither technical, legal or otherwise,
shall prevent, hinder or inhibit the fruition of the rights provided
by this License to any User of both the Hack and any Derived Work.
6. No patent infringement litigation claim (excluding counterclaims and
cross-claims) alleging that all or part of the Hack directly or
indirectly infringes a patent shall be initialized by the User.
7. The User has never violated any of the previous conditions.
8. All of these conditions shall be valid and enforceable under the
jurisdiction of the User.


4. Termination
--------------

Failing to comply to the conditions of this License shall automatically
terminate the grants provided, without affecting other parties who have
received copies or rights under this License.


5. Severability
---------------

The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of this License does
not affect the validity or enforceability of the remainder of this License.
Such provision is to be reformed to the minimum extent necessary to make
it valid and enforceable.


6. No Warranty and Limitation of Liability
------------------------------------------

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR
IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY,
FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE
AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER
LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING
FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER
DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.


7. Use and distribution of the Hacking License
----------------------------------------------

This version of the Hacking License was written on December 03, 2018.

Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this
document, but changing it is not allowed.

Copyright (C) 2018 Giacomo Tesio
Ben Finney
2018-12-04 06:04:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Giacomo Tesio
Hi, I've just published a new version of the Hacking License that
receipts some of the objections proposed on debian-legal and on
copyleft-next.
[…]
I would really appreciate further feedbacks.
Please be aware that this is *not* a forum particularly suited for
forming a new copyright license text. We are volunteers specifically
focussed on discussing *works for submission to Debian*.

I acknowledge that you started discussions in the context of a specific
software work, and that is appreciated. However, you are strongly
seeking feedback not on the work of software, but on your new license
text.

That's not a good use of this forum, and this forum is not especially
likely to be fruitful for that goal. You have already been told gently
that *for the purpose of Debian* we strongly discourage works have new
license texts.

Trying to come up with a new set of license conditions from scratch,
without using legal experts paid to work on the many drafts you'll need
to make such a text robust, is a huge waste of many people's time now
and in the future. For the sake of anyone who would receive that
software, I implore you to not do it, and also to not be under any
illusion that this discussion forum is a suitable way to meet that goal.
It is not.

If you want to release a work of software compatible with Debian, please
do everyone – yourself included – a huge favour and choose an existing,
well-understood, known-by-copyright-experts-to-be-effective free license
already used for many existing software works.
--
\ “All my life I've had one dream: to achieve my many goals.” |
`\ —Homer, _The Simpsons_ |
_o__) |
Ben Finney
Giacomo Tesio
2018-12-04 09:07:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ben Finney
If you want to release a work of software compatible with Debian, please
do everyone – yourself included – a huge favour and choose an existing,
well-understood, known-by-copyright-experts-to-be-effective free
license already used for many existing software works.
Hi Ben thanks for your advice. I know you mean well.


It's not my intention to abuse the debian-legal mailing list, I was
really looking for compatibility issues between the Hacking License
and the DFSG in the hope to address them before the widespread
adoption of the software it cover and the license.

While the copyright attribution embedded in the Hacking License is
designed to make updates to the license possible, I cannot be sure
that the changes that Debian would require would be compatible with
the rights granted to the users after the release, actually making the
software incompatible with Debian (the upstream copyright attribution
is terminated, like other grants, on violation of users rights).

I appreciate the feedbacks shared so far by Debian Legal volunteers,
and integrated them in the new version of the license to this aim.


If no further incompatibility exists between the Hacking License and
the DFSG, I will not annoy the list anymore.
If, on the other hand, no new copyleft license is allowed to enter
Debian, I'm fine with it, but I think this should be clearly stated
somewhere in the social contract.
Same if this is a problem of license authorship (because I'm neither a
lawyer nor a committee) or affiliation.

Ultimately, if "strongly discouraged" actually means "forbidden" I
just need to know it.
Post by Ben Finney
However, you are strongly seeking feedback not on the work of software,
but on your new license text.
No, let's be clear on this: I **welcome** all feedbacks about the
license's text, but here I'm **seeking** just for
_incompatibilities_with_DFSG_.
I didn't release the software yet because it's innovative by itself
and I need an appropriate license to more effectively protect the
users' freedom in a strongly distributed computing platform.


Giacomo
Xavier
2018-12-04 09:41:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Giacomo Tesio
Post by Ben Finney
If you want to release a work of software compatible with Debian, please
do everyone – yourself included – a huge favour and choose an existing,
well-understood, known-by-copyright-experts-to-be-effective free
license already used for many existing software works.
Hi Ben thanks for your advice. I know you mean well.
It's not my intention to abuse the debian-legal mailing list, I was
really looking for compatibility issues between the Hacking License
and the DFSG in the hope to address them before the widespread
adoption of the software it cover and the license.
While the copyright attribution embedded in the Hacking License is
designed to make updates to the license possible, I cannot be sure
that the changes that Debian would require would be compatible with
the rights granted to the users after the release, actually making the
software incompatible with Debian (the upstream copyright attribution
is terminated, like other grants, on violation of users rights).
I appreciate the feedbacks shared so far by Debian Legal volunteers,
and integrated them in the new version of the license to this aim.
If no further incompatibility exists between the Hacking License and
the DFSG, I will not annoy the list anymore.
If, on the other hand, no new copyleft license is allowed to enter
Debian, I'm fine with it, but I think this should be clearly stated
somewhere in the social contract.
No Debian accepts any license that are DFSG compliant (DFSG is just a
guidelines). You may use the 3 tests to understand what may be wrong :
* https://wiki.debian.org/DesertIslandTest
* https://wiki.debian.org/DissidentTest
* The tentacle of evil test (not found in wiki, why ?):
"Imagine that the author is hired by a large evil corporation and,
now in their thrall, attempts to do the worst to the users of the
program: to make their lives miserable, to make them stop using the
program, to expose them to legal liability, to make the program non-
free, to discover their secrets, etc. The same can happen to a
corporation bought out by a larger corporation bent on destroying
free software in order to maintain its monopoly and extend its evil
empire. To be free, the license cannot allow even the author to take
away the required freedoms."
Post by Giacomo Tesio
Same if this is a problem of license authorship (because I'm neither a
lawyer nor a committee) or affiliation.
Ultimately, if "strongly discouraged" actually means "forbidden" I
just need to know it.
Post by Ben Finney
However, you are strongly seeking feedback not on the work of software,
but on your new license text.
No, let's be clear on this: I **welcome** all feedbacks about the
license's text, but here I'm **seeking** just for
_incompatibilities_with_DFSG_.
I didn't release the software yet because it's innovative by itself
and I need an appropriate license to more effectively protect the
users' freedom in a strongly distributed computing platform.
Giacomo
Giacomo Tesio
2018-12-04 10:17:06 UTC
Permalink
Hi Xavier actually, before writing to the debian-legal list, I
compared the license against the three tests
(I've found the "The tentacle of evil test" on the Wikipedia page
about DFSG, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debian_Free_Software_Guidelines#debian-legal_tests_for_DFSG_compliance).
Post by Xavier
Post by Giacomo Tesio
If, on the other hand, no new copyleft license is allowed to enter
Debian, I'm fine with it, but I think this should be clearly stated
somewhere in the social contract.
No Debian accepts any license that are DFSG compliant (DFSG is just a
* https://wiki.debian.org/DesertIslandTest
The Hacking License only requires to distribute sources of Derived
Works to the users of such Derived Work, so it passes this test.
Post by Xavier
* https://wiki.debian.org/DissidentTest
Same as above.
Post by Xavier
"Imagine that the author is hired by a large evil corporation and,
now in their thrall, attempts to do the worst to the users of the
program: to make their lives miserable, to make them stop using the
program, to expose them to legal liability, to make the program non-
free, to discover their secrets, etc. The same can happen to a
corporation bought out by a larger corporation bent on destroying
free software in order to maintain its monopoly and extend its evil
empire. To be free, the license cannot allow even the author to take
away the required freedoms."
To be honest this puzzled me a bit: is "the author" here
1. the author of the software or
2. the author of the license?

In case of 1, if the authors of the software violates the right of
users, his grants on any patch they received terminate, including the
copyright assignment that let them update the license.
In case of 2, if the author of the Hacking License get hired by a
large evil corporation (trust me, very unlikely in practice...
compared to me, Linus has been such a kind guy all these years... :-D)
I cannot change the license of any software licensed under the Hacking
License.

To be honest, to my untrained eye the tentacle of evil test might be a
case against GNU License common use of "or (at your option) any later
version." because if a project moves to an _apparently_ good new
version of GPL and accept patches under it, and then turns out that
the upgrade had issues, they might have huge troubles to go back at a
previous version.

But... you know... IANAL... ;-)


Giacomo
Xavier
2018-12-04 11:07:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Giacomo Tesio
Hi Xavier actually, before writing to the debian-legal list, I
compared the license against the three tests
(I've found the "The tentacle of evil test" on the Wikipedia page
about DFSG, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debian_Free_Software_Guidelines#debian-legal_tests_for_DFSG_compliance).
Post by Xavier
Post by Giacomo Tesio
If, on the other hand, no new copyleft license is allowed to enter
Debian, I'm fine with it, but I think this should be clearly stated
somewhere in the social contract.
No Debian accepts any license that are DFSG compliant (DFSG is just a
* https://wiki.debian.org/DesertIslandTest
The Hacking License only requires to distribute sources of Derived
Works to the users of such Derived Work, so it passes this test.
Post by Xavier
* https://wiki.debian.org/DissidentTest
Same as above.
Post by Xavier
"Imagine that the author is hired by a large evil corporation and,
now in their thrall, attempts to do the worst to the users of the
program: to make their lives miserable, to make them stop using the
program, to expose them to legal liability, to make the program non-
free, to discover their secrets, etc. The same can happen to a
corporation bought out by a larger corporation bent on destroying
free software in order to maintain its monopoly and extend its evil
empire. To be free, the license cannot allow even the author to take
away the required freedoms."
To be honest this puzzled me a bit: is "the author" here
1. the author of the software or
2. the author of the license?
The author of things covered by license
Post by Giacomo Tesio
In case of 1, if the authors of the software violates the right of
users, his grants on any patch they received terminate, including the
copyright assignment that let them update the license.
In case of 2, if the author of the Hacking License get hired by a
large evil corporation (trust me, very unlikely in practice...
compared to me, Linus has been such a kind guy all these years... :-D)
I cannot change the license of any software licensed under the Hacking
License.
To be honest, to my untrained eye the tentacle of evil test might be a
case against GNU License common use of "or (at your option) any later
version." because if a project moves to an _apparently_ good new
version of GPL and accept patches under it, and then turns out that
the upgrade had issues, they might have huge troubles to go back at a
previous version.
No, the software you gave is usable with current license even if next
version is more restrictive (you can then fork). "Tentacle of Evil test"
forbids the author to restrict later what is covered now with the
current license (see French difference between "gratuit" and "libre":
both translated to "free").
Giacomo Tesio
2018-12-04 11:17:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Xavier
Post by Giacomo Tesio
To be honest, to my untrained eye the tentacle of evil test might be a
case against GNU License common use of "or (at your option) any later
version." because if a project moves to an _apparently_ good new
version of GPL and accept patches under it, and then turns out that
the upgrade had issues, they might have huge troubles to go back at a
previous version.
No, the software you gave is usable with current license even if next
version is more restrictive (you can then fork). "Tentacle of Evil test"
forbids the author to restrict later what is covered now with the
both translated to "free").
No sorry I explained my doubt badly.

I'm thinking of a project X licensed as GPLv3+ that after the release
of GPLv4 decide to move to GPLv4+ (as happened to many GPLv2+
projects).

This is fine and expected, unless Hydra manages to infiltrate FSF with
a couple of cool lawyers and to corrupt the text in some overlooked
way.
In this case, if after a couple of years Hydra start suing people
according to such overlooked detail, people would have a hard issue to
go back to GPLv3 without discarging all the patches provided.

A corner case, I know... but pretty in line with the Tentacle of Evil
theme... :-)


Giacomo
Andrej Shadura
2018-12-04 08:57:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Giacomo Tesio
Hi, I've just published a new version of the Hacking License that
receipts some of the objections proposed on debian-legal and on
copyleft-next.
In particular, I have
1) removed requirement to change the logo (see [1] from Francesco Poli).
That requirements was not there to protect the brand of the authors but
to protect the users from being fooled to use a modified version
instead of the original;
That still effectively forbids your software from being packaged.
Post by Giacomo Tesio
2) left requirement to change the name, because the definition of "use"
already allows the users to store a Derived Work in place of the Hack;
So if I want to patch a security vulnerability, I have to bikeshed a
name? Please no.
Post by Giacomo Tesio
3) clarified the permissions granted to organizations, that can only copy
and/or distribute the Hack (see [2] from Paul Jakma);
4) slighly improved the Preamble
The canonical url is still at http://www.tesio.it/documents/HACK.txt
(SHA256: 8d1892282d2335d5b9bc3f4656123bc18cbb2ce479def922a896a75005b3d738)
[1] https://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2018/12/msg00002.html
[2] https://bit.ly/2BNJvkE
I would really appreciate further feedbacks.
--
Cheers,
Andrej
Giacomo Tesio
2018-12-04 09:58:26 UTC
Permalink
Hi Andrej thanks for your objections.

Il giorno mar 4 dic 2018 alle ore 09:58 Andrej Shadura
Post by Andrej Shadura
Post by Giacomo Tesio
In particular, I have
1) removed requirement to change the logo (see [1] from Francesco Poli).
That requirements was not there to protect the brand of the authors but
to protect the users from being fooled to use a modified version
instead of the original;
That still effectively forbids your software from being packaged.
Mind to elaborate why?
A package might help the user to interactively replace the file, use
Debian's "alternatives" (or equivalent) or simply create a symbolic
link.

Maybe I'm misreading DFSG 4?
Post by Andrej Shadura
Post by Giacomo Tesio
2) left requirement to change the name, because the definition of "use"
already allows the users to store a Derived Work in place of the Hack;
So if I want to patch a security vulnerability, I have to bikeshed a
name? Please no.
This is a good point, thanks!
As I said my goal is to protect people from being fooled to use (even
remotely, as a service) a modified version of the software in place of
the original.

I see two solutions to this interpretation issue:
1) s/Derived Work under this License but/Derived Work under this
License as either source patches or/
2) s/but with a different name/but clearly informing its users about
the differences with the Hack./

Solution 1 seems less prone to interpretations and easier to comply
unambigously.
OTOH, solution 2 is more general and clearly states the intent of the
hackers, so I would prefer this.

What your take?


Giacomo
Giacomo Tesio
2018-12-05 11:38:48 UTC
Permalink
Hi,
thanks to the public and private advices that I received on the last
version, I further improved the Hacking License.

In particular:
1. clarified the permission granted to organizations (on behalf of
their members)
2. removed the name change requirement
3. extended the permissions and patent licenses granted to the Users
to the copyright holders of the Inspiring Hacks
4. excluded the freely available know-how from the tools to be made
available to the users (see 3.4)

Does this license match the DFSG?
Would a package for my library so licensed be included in Debian?
If not, why?

(these are my key concerns right now but further questions, criticisms
and suggestions are still welcome!)


The canonical URI is still at http://www.tesio.it/documents/HACK.txt
(SHA256: 1498d09089e420b1a441dfc516be86df88dda0f859db32178a3fb33dc4a3ed5f)


Giacomo
PS: Thanks everybody for the help!
_____

Hacking License
===============

Our Curiosity serves Humanity through Freedom, Candor and Communion.

This license grants you the right to hack with us, to explore ways we
ignore and to challenge our assumptions by teaching us what you will learn.


1. Definitions
--------------

For the purpose of this License:

- "License" refers to this License.
- "Copyright" means copyright-like laws that apply to other literary works.
- "Hack" refers to the software, the documentation and the contents
distributed under this License.
- "Hacker" refers to any Copyright holder of the Hack.
- "Human" is every live being with humans among its genetic ancestors.
- "Application" refers to a set of software exchanging data.
- "Runtime" refers to any runtime system, any operating system, any
virtual machine and/or any interpreter that is required to run the Hack.
- "Source" refers to the human-readable form of a software which is the
most convenient for people to study and modify, and that can be used
to generate a new identical copy of the software itself.
- "User" refers to any human receiving a copy of the Hack or its source
and/or performing any action permitted by this License.
- To "study" a software means to perform any activity that could help
the User to deeply understand it, to understand how to modify it or to
explain its usage and inner working to other Users.
- To "copy" means to create an new exact copy of a work, for any purpose
and on any medium, even after applying any lossless transformation to it,
including, but not limited to, compression or encryption.
- To "convey" means to perform any action that might enable other humans
to copy a work and/or to obtain or receive copies of it.
- To "distribute" means any action that enables any other human to perform
any of the activities permitted by this License.
- To "use" a software means to generate a new copy of the software from
its source, to run it for any purpose, to install it, to interact with
it through any medium or proxy (even asynchronously), to provide data
used for its input or to consume its output (or any part of it), and/or
to store and use a Derived Work in place of the software itself.
- To "wrap" a software means to integrate it into an Application.
The programs that collect, store, transform and/or transfer data
for the User or between the User and the Hack are called "Wrappers".
Wrappers do not include any program or library that Users can find in
off-the-shelf distributions of the required Runtime, but include any
modified version of such programs, libraries, Runtime that are required
to run the Application.
The license of a Wrapper is compatible with this License if it grants
to the Users access to its source and the right to study, copy, use,
wrap, modify and/or distribute the Wrapper and/or the Application
and/or any modified version of them, in any form.
- To "modify" a software means to perform any action that would require
Copyright permission, except for studying, copying, using, wrapping
and distributing the software, including, but not limited to, to adapt
all or part of the software, to translate all or part of it to a
different language or form, to create or modify its documentation,
to refactor its source, or to combine the software or parts of it with
other works. The resulting work is called a "Derived Work", whereas
"Inspiring Hacks" are the original works modified to create it.


2. Grants
---------

Permission is hereby granted to any User of the Hack to study, copy, use,
wrap, modify and/or distribute the Hack, and to distribute any Derived Work
under this License but clearly informing recipients about the differences
with the Hack.

A patent License to perform each and every of the actions permitted above
is granted to any User under the Hackers' essential patent claims.

If the Hack is a Derived Work, the Hackers grant to the copyright holders
of the Inspiring Hacks all permissions and patent Licenses granted to the
Users of the Hack, and all rights, title and interests in any copyright
the Hackers have in the Hack to the extent permitted by Law.

All of these grants are subject to the Conditions below, free of charge,
non-exclusive, valid everywhere in the Universe, irrevocable (provided the
stated Conditions are met), royalty-free and can be transferred to third
parties with the Hack, its source or any Derived Work for no charge.

Organizations may copy and/or convey the Hack on behalf of their members
and under this License. No other permission is granted to organizations.

This License does not grant any rights in the names, trade names,
trademarks, service marks, or logos of the Hackers, except as required
for reasonable and customary use in describing the origin of the Hack
and reproducing the content of the copyright notice.


3. Conditions
-------------

The grants provided by this License are subject to the following conditions:

1. The Hackers' copyright notice and this License shall be included in
all copies or substantial portions of the Hack and of any Derived Work.
2. The source of the Hack shall be made available with the Hack and/or
by other reasonable means to every User, according to this License
and without additional constraints or requirements, such as further
agreements, royalties or other fee.
3. All Wrappers used to integrate the Hack into an Application shall be
made available (either with the Hack and/or by other reasonable means)
to every User under either this License or compatible ones, so that
Users can modify and/or run the whole Application on their own hardware.
4. The tools, dependencies and know-how required to perform any of the
activities permitted by this License shall be made available to the
User with the source of the Hack (except for the tools, dependencies
and know-how that are already available to every User either free of
charge or in off-the-shelf distributions of the Runtime) and without
additional constraints or requirements, such as further agreements, any
royalty or other fee.
5. No restriction or impediment, neither technical, legal or otherwise,
shall prevent, hinder or inhibit the fruition of the rights provided
by this License to any User of both the Hack and any Derived Work.
6. No patent infringement litigation claim (excluding counterclaims and
cross-claims) alleging that all or part of the Hack directly or
indirectly infringes a patent shall be initialized by the User.
7. The User has never violated any of the previous conditions.
8. All of the Definitions, the Grants and the Conditions of this License
shall be valid and enforceable under the jurisdiction of the User.


4. Termination
--------------

Failing to comply to the conditions of this License shall automatically
terminate the grants provided, without affecting other parties who have
received copies, permissions or rights under this License.


5. Severability
---------------

The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of this License does
not affect the validity or enforceability of the remainder of this License.
Such provision is to be reformed to the minimum extent necessary to make
it valid and enforceable.


6. No Warranty and Limitation of Liability
------------------------------------------

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR
IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY,
FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE
AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER
LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING
FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER
DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.


7. Use and distribution of the Hacking License
----------------------------------------------

This version of the Hacking License was written on December 05, 2018.

Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this
document, but changing it is not allowed.

Copyright (C) 2018 Giacomo Tesio
Ben Finney
2018-12-06 01:12:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Giacomo Tesio
thanks to the public and private advices that I received on the last
version, I further improved the Hacking License.
Giacomo, I again ask you: please don't impose on the free software
community the burden of yet another roll-your-own license text.

We already have a minefield of difficult-to-predict interacting clauses
just with the *existing* license conditions that are well known.

Adding yet another set of conditions massively multiplies the potential
set of combinations, making it that much harder to determine whether a
given work is free software. Please realise that this is *not* a benefit
to the community.
Post by Giacomo Tesio
Does this license match the DFSG?
In my opinion:

* It is impossible to say with any confidence whether this set of
conditions makes a work free or non-free, because so many of the
clauses are too vague.

* It is needlessly burdeonsome to parse the text, because many terms are
used in a highly idiosynratic way, and mislead the reader into
thinking a term is being used with its traditional meaning when
something quite different is meant instead.

Please do not keep iterating slight changes to this text and asking for
volunteers to spend effort combing through it. You know by now that you
can make your work free software by instead choosing an existing
well-known free software license, and save everyone a lot of pain.

We can spend volunteer, non-expert effort to try to find possible
corrections to be made for an existing software work. But that is on a
best-effort basis, hoping to reduce the barriers to software freedom.

You do yourself no favours in the free software community by trying to
get us to evaluate numerous iterations of a license that you have,
against all advice, written in the absence of trained legal
professionals, to add to the existing body of competing license texts.
Post by Giacomo Tesio
Would a package for my library so licensed be included in Debian?
If not, why?
This forum can never tell you authoritatively the answer to whether a
work would be included in Debian, because this forum does not make those
decisions.

As for “why”: If a work under this license text were submitted for
inclusion in Debian, I think it would be quite reasonable for the FTP
masters to reject it solely because the license text makes it too
difficult to determine whether the work is free or non-free.

You are asking to have specific clauses scrutinised and improved, and I
appreciate the desire for that. I think any such effort is misguided,
despite your evident good intentions. It will not improve software
freedom, for the reasons I have stated above.

With thanks for your desire to contribute free software to the world: I
ask you to choose a license text – such as the Expat license or Apache
License 2.0 or GNU GPLv3 – that is well-known to make a work free
software, and instead use that license for works you release.
--
\ “To have the choice between proprietary software packages, is |
`\ being able to choose your master. Freedom means not having a |
_o__) master.” —Richard M. Stallman, 2007-05-16 |
Ben Finney
Giacomo Tesio
2018-12-06 09:29:48 UTC
Permalink
Il giorno gio 6 dic 2018 alle ore 02:12 Ben Finney
Post by Ben Finney
Giacomo, I again ask you: please don't impose on the free software
community the burden of yet another roll-your-own license text.
Ben, I'm a hacker. And I'm Italian.
To me Freedom will NEVER mean permission to pick a product off the shelf.
Post by Ben Finney
We already have a minefield of difficult-to-predict interacting clauses
just with the *existing* license conditions that are well known.
Yet how many strong copyleft we have?
How many are really designed to maximise user freedom?
How many are designed with a distributed computing environment in mind?
Post by Ben Finney
Adding yet another set of conditions massively multiplies the potential
set of combinations, making it that much harder to determine whether a
given work is free software. Please realise that this is *not* a benefit
to the community.
This is a issue of existing international copyright regulation.
If you want to reform it, I'm totally with you.
No software should be allowed to be proprietary or secret.

By turning users to hackers, the Hacking License is a step into this direction.
Post by Ben Finney
Post by Giacomo Tesio
Does this license match the DFSG?
* It is impossible to say with any confidence whether this set of
conditions makes a work free or non-free, because so many of the
clauses are too vague.
Saying "many of the clauses are too vague" is a bit vague. :-)
Could you provide some examples?
Post by Ben Finney
* It is needlessly burdeonsome to parse the text, because many terms are
used in a highly idiosynratic way, and mislead the reader into
thinking a term is being used with its traditional meaning when
something quite different is meant instead.
This license is 165 lines long, including preamble, titles, and empty lines.

$ wc documents/HACK.txt
165 1316 8137 documents/HACK.txt
$ wc documents/agpl-3.0.txt
661 5535 34523 documents/agpl-3.0.txt

Consistently less than one quarter of GNU AGPLv3.
(I had to actively resist the temptation to try to arrange it so that
wc returns "128 1024 8192"! :-D)

It's designed to be readable and clear in intents and effects.
Maybe I programmed too much, or too much in Haskell and C... but how
can 165 lines with 20 definitions and no external dependency be a
problem for us?
I mean, it's not JavaScript, after all! :-D
Post by Ben Finney
Please do not keep iterating slight changes to this text and asking for
volunteers to spend effort combing through it.
This "slight changes" are the result of several public and private
exchanges in a few hours, so to me they are not so slight.
OTOH, I don't know how to proceed because Debian Legal is indicated
for discussions on licensing issues about packages.
Post by Ben Finney
You know by now that you
can make your work free software by instead choosing an existing
well-known free software license, and save everyone a lot of pain.
I puzzled with this: can you suggest me an _equivalent_ strong copyleft?
Nobody suggested one, so far.
Post by Ben Finney
We can spend volunteer, non-expert effort to try to find possible
corrections to be made for an existing software work. But that is on a
best-effort basis, hoping to reduce the barriers to software freedom.
To be honest this is why I proposed the Hacking License here in the first place.
I don't want to exploit, say, OSI members' time because I don't care
if the Hacking License is listed there.
But as a Debian user since potato, I would be happy to contribute to
Debian a package with the compatibility layer with Jehanne.
So if there is any correction that would make such package clearly
compatible with Debian rules and values (that I really think it
matches very well) I'm still happy to consider them.

My goal here is not to generically improve the license, but to
understand if it's compatible with Debian distribution or how it could
be made so.
Post by Ben Finney
You do yourself no favours in the free software community by trying to
get us to evaluate numerous iterations of a license that you have,
against all advice, written in the absence of trained legal
professionals, to add to the existing body of competing license texts.
I'm not looking for favour.
"Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity." ;-)
Post by Ben Finney
Post by Giacomo Tesio
Would a package for my library so licensed be included in Debian?
If not, why?
This forum can never tell you authoritatively the answer to whether a
work would be included in Debian, because this forum does not make those
decisions.
According to https://people.debian.org/~bap/dfsg-faq
"Debian-legal is a Debian mailing list for the discussion of legal
questions related to Debian, including in particular whether some
package or prospective package is free software. This usually depends
on the license under which it is distributed."
Post by Ben Finney
As for “why”: If a work under this license text were submitted for
inclusion in Debian, I think it would be quite reasonable for the FTP
masters to reject it solely because the license text makes it too
difficult to determine whether the work is free or non-free.
Really Ben, which passage of that text make it difficult to understand
that this IS a free license?
Post by Ben Finney
You are asking to have specific clauses scrutinised and improved, and I
appreciate the desire for that. I think any such effort is misguided,
despite your evident good intentions. It will not improve software
freedom, for the reasons I have stated above.
The Hacking License is designed to create a world where everybody will
be able to hack their own software.
This will improve software freedom a lot: proprietary software will
have LESS resources to invest than free software, then.

Having to read a 165 lines now is a little cost compared to such a free world.
Post by Ben Finney
With thanks for your desire to contribute free software to the world: I
ask you to choose a license text – such as the Expat license or Apache
License 2.0 or GNU GPLv3 – that is well-known to make a work free
software, and instead use that license for works you release.
I really understand your concerns.
I carefully ponder your objections.
And I'm eager to know which lines makes the Hacking License look
non-free to your eyes: I will try to remove every ambiguity.

But I'm not asking permission.

The Hacking License exists as a response to the bad moves I see around
(and ultimately against) free software.
Since I can't trust anymore many existing actors, I'm hacking a solution myself.
Post by Ben Finney
--
\ “To have the choice between proprietary software packages, is |
`\ being able to choose your master. Freedom means not having a |
_o__) master.” —Richard M. Stallman, 2007-05-16 |
To have the choice between "blessed free software licenses" is
being able to choose your master... and your users' master.

I have no master.


Giacomo

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