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Re: Hacking License

Il giorno gio 6 dic 2018 alle ore 02:12 Ben Finney
<bignose@debian.org> ha scritto:
> 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.

> 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?

> 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.

> > 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.

Saying "many of the clauses are too vague" is a bit vague. :-)
Could you provide some examples?

> * 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

> 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.

> 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.

> 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.

> 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." ;-)

> > 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."

> 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?

> 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.

> 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.

> --
>  \       “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.


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