Neither for Free, nor for a Fee

So I have been thinking a lot about prohibiting usage of my software by vicious governments, and other organisations being in violation of United Nation’s Universal Human Right declaration – In fact, I have thought about it for a very long time. So here is my current proposal for a software license, that arguably gives me the best of three worlds. First the ability to share my source code with the world. Secondly it prohibits vicious governments to use my work in any ways. Thirdly, it must create the possibility for me as an individual to create a sustainable income, by making me able to charge people using my software commercially in closed source applications. My intentions are to create a Dual License, that prohibits usage of the software unless two criteria are met: 1. The user creates Open Source software. 2. The user does not work for an organisation that is either directly or indirectly working for a government or organisation that are in violation of UN’s declaration of Universal Human Rights. Neither as a direct employer, or as an independent sub contractor.

The first point (forcing the user to create Open Source), is a demand I will wave for a fee, for users wanting to create closed source applications. This allows me to “Dual License” my software under “Quid Pro Quo” terms. However, the second demand will not be waved, resulting in that I will not sell closed source usage rights to individuals or organisations if they are in violation of Human Rights according to UN’s definition, or working for an organisation or government violating Human Rights. The idea is to keep it as simple as possible. I wanted to use an exception to the Affero GPL, but the Affero’s wording is simply too complex. I want something I can explain to a child, while still fulfilling the above intentions of mine. I am not sure if I have succeeded, but you can see my current working draft below.

Before you object; Yes! I do realise that this does not make the software “open source” or “free software” according to the OSI and FSF’s definition. However, I quite frankly don’t give a shit! Sorry, I will not work for your fascist government, neither for free, nor for a fee. OSI and FSF can quarrel about the semantic differences between Open Source and Free Software – As for me, I am creating Freedom Software … 😉

Freedom Software license version 1.0

Copyright [YEAR] [COPYRIGHT HOLDER]

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and its associated documentation files (the “Software”), to use the software for any purpose, subject to the following conditions:

1. The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
2. The entire source code for your own work that builds upon the Software either directly, or indirectly, should be published such that it is easily available for everyone.
3. All copies of the Software should clearly display a hyperlink/URL whenever it is interacted with by a human being, that allows the human to easily obtain the entire source code for your entire application, and use it under the same terms as you were given the right to use the Software.
4. You or your employer are not in any ways participating in activities that violates the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/).

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.

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The Hippocratic Affero GPL addendum

Some time ago Coraline Ada Ehmke created a Hippocratic MIT style Open Source license, and the Open Source Initiative explicitly commented on it, and said “it is not open source”. For me personally, Open Source and Free Software is not a goal, it is the means. The means to accomplish good things, and our reasons to create Open Source software, is because we (developers) wants to contribute positively to the world. Hence I don’t care what the OSI thinks about the Hippocratic Addendum to Open Source licenses to be honest with you, I intend to use it for my own software regardless of whether or not technicalities makes it an “open source license” or not.

The next release of Magic will therefor be released under two distinctly different licenses; One “quasi open source” license, the Affero GPL license with the “Hippocratic Addendum”. And another commercial/proprietary enabling license. I allow you to use the first license because I want to contribute to the world, and do my part in making it better. I sell the right to use Magic under the seconds type of license, because I need to pay my rent like everybody else. I also do not sell proprietary enabling licenses to governments or organisations who are in violation of international human rights, by for instance having a military presence in a country without a UN resolution underneath backing their presence, etc. Sorry, you can use something else do – But you cannot use Magic. If you don’t know what the Hippocratic Addendum is, you can find it below.

The Software may not be used by individuals, corporations, governments, or other groups for systems or activities that actively and knowingly endanger, harm, or otherwise threaten the physical, mental, economic, or general well-being of individuals or groups in violation of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Read more here – https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/

You can read the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights here.

Thank you Coraline for a great idea!