Licensing is confusing #62

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hfiguiere opened this Issue Mar 17, 2016 · 16 comments

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@hfiguiere

The licensing of this project is confusing.

The README state:

Joust is licensed under the AGPLv3 for non-commercial uses exclusively. The full text of the license can be found in the LICENSE file.

Joust is not licensed for commercial use. Commercial exceptions can be granted on a case by case basis.

Yet referred LICENSE file is the AGPL-3.0 license text verbatim (I compared with the official version from the FSF) which doesn't put any restriction for the commercial use of software licensed under this license.

So which is it?

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jleclanche Mar 17, 2016

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Hi @hfiguiere

Joust is dual-licensed. For non-commercial uses, the license terms are those of the AGPL-3.0. For commercial uses, we explicitly require interested parties to contact us beforehand if they want to negociate a custom license.

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jleclanche commented Mar 17, 2016

Hi @hfiguiere

Joust is dual-licensed. For non-commercial uses, the license terms are those of the AGPL-3.0. For commercial uses, we explicitly require interested parties to contact us beforehand if they want to negociate a custom license.

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hfiguiere Mar 17, 2016

Still not making sense. AGPL-3 DOES NOT prohibit commercial use. It never has.

Still not making sense. AGPL-3 DOES NOT prohibit commercial use. It never has.

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jleclanche Mar 17, 2016

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@hfiguiere The license is not "AGPL-3". The license is "Same terms as AGPL3 for noncommercial uses, custom for commercial uses".

In other words, for non-commercial uses, we grant you the same rights as AGPL-3.0. We explicitly do not grant these rights for commercial projects, unless they talk to us first.

If you think there is a better way to word this, let me know.

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jleclanche commented Mar 17, 2016

@hfiguiere The license is not "AGPL-3". The license is "Same terms as AGPL3 for noncommercial uses, custom for commercial uses".

In other words, for non-commercial uses, we grant you the same rights as AGPL-3.0. We explicitly do not grant these rights for commercial projects, unless they talk to us first.

If you think there is a better way to word this, let me know.

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mjg59 Mar 17, 2016

@jleclanche The AGPL expressly permits the recipient to distribute the work to anyone under the terms of the AGPL, and for those recipients to use it in any way they want under the terms of the AGPL (including commercially), so under the current terms I (a non-commercial user) could obtain the code from you under the terms of AGPL-3 and then redistribute it to commercial users. If you wish to restrict commercial use, you'll need to distribute under a modified version of the AGPL.

mjg59 commented Mar 17, 2016

@jleclanche The AGPL expressly permits the recipient to distribute the work to anyone under the terms of the AGPL, and for those recipients to use it in any way they want under the terms of the AGPL (including commercially), so under the current terms I (a non-commercial user) could obtain the code from you under the terms of AGPL-3 and then redistribute it to commercial users. If you wish to restrict commercial use, you'll need to distribute under a modified version of the AGPL.

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mjg59 Mar 17, 2016

@jleclanche (But note that AGPL-3 can't be modified without permission, so you'd need to ask for permission from the copyright holders to do so)

mjg59 commented Mar 17, 2016

@jleclanche (But note that AGPL-3 can't be modified without permission, so you'd need to ask for permission from the copyright holders to do so)

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jleclanche Mar 17, 2016

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@mjg59 Yeah, that's a really good point. Thanks for bringing it up - I'll look into it.

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jleclanche commented Mar 17, 2016

@mjg59 Yeah, that's a really good point. Thanks for bringing it up - I'll look into it.

@jleclanche jleclanche self-assigned this Mar 17, 2016

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scott-martinez Mar 17, 2016

"Joust is dual-licensed. For non-commercial uses, the license terms are those of the AGPL-3.0. For commercial uses, we explicitly require interested parties to contact us beforehand if they want to negociate a custom license."

That's not what it says right now (to please contact if you want a custom license.) What if a commercial entity doesn't want a custom license? What if they just want the AGPL and nothing else? If the intent is as you say that " if they want to negotiate a custom license" then shouldn't it be re-worded to be clearer, then, that the only people that need to do the contacting (whether commerical in nature or not) are those that want something other than AGPL? And if a commercial entity doesn't want a custom license and is just fine with AGPL, that they are then free to just get a copy of the software under the AGPL off of GitHub without ever contacting you?

"Joust is dual-licensed. For non-commercial uses, the license terms are those of the AGPL-3.0. For commercial uses, we explicitly require interested parties to contact us beforehand if they want to negociate a custom license."

That's not what it says right now (to please contact if you want a custom license.) What if a commercial entity doesn't want a custom license? What if they just want the AGPL and nothing else? If the intent is as you say that " if they want to negotiate a custom license" then shouldn't it be re-worded to be clearer, then, that the only people that need to do the contacting (whether commerical in nature or not) are those that want something other than AGPL? And if a commercial entity doesn't want a custom license and is just fine with AGPL, that they are then free to just get a copy of the software under the AGPL off of GitHub without ever contacting you?

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jleclanche Mar 17, 2016

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@scott-martinez I'm rethinking the core license, I'd like to avoid writing a custom one if possible.

@beheh @andburn Thoughts on moving to CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 with explicit exemptions?

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jleclanche commented Mar 17, 2016

@scott-martinez I'm rethinking the core license, I'd like to avoid writing a custom one if possible.

@beheh @andburn Thoughts on moving to CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 with explicit exemptions?

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scott-martinez Mar 17, 2016

There's no need to write a custom license. Let everyone use it under AGPL.

Being open source guarantees it can be used for commercial purposes. See https://opensource.org/faq#commercial

So unless you don't want it to be open source but the opposite of open, I don't know why you want to differ between commercial & non-commercial uses.

There's no need to write a custom license. Let everyone use it under AGPL.

Being open source guarantees it can be used for commercial purposes. See https://opensource.org/faq#commercial

So unless you don't want it to be open source but the opposite of open, I don't know why you want to differ between commercial & non-commercial uses.

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@scott-martinez I appreciate the input, but we're probably going to move away from AGPL and to a CC license more appropriate for this.

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jleclanche commented Mar 17, 2016

@scott-martinez I appreciate the input, but we're probably going to move away from AGPL and to a CC license more appropriate for this.

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hfiguiere Mar 17, 2016

A CC license is unlikely to be appropriate. CC licenses are not suited/designed for source code.

A CC license is unlikely to be appropriate. CC licenses are not suited/designed for source code.

jleclanche added a commit that referenced this issue Mar 17, 2016

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jleclanche Mar 17, 2016

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@hfiguiere It's a compromise. Unless you think it's preferable to take Joust closed source.

BTW, I don't mind the input, but I haven't seen anyone who spoke up here ever contributing to the Hearthsim community, let alone joust. So I don't know where this was linked/shared, but if you guys want an actual say in which license should be applied, there's 35 other issues open waiting for pull requests.

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jleclanche commented Mar 17, 2016

@hfiguiere It's a compromise. Unless you think it's preferable to take Joust closed source.

BTW, I don't mind the input, but I haven't seen anyone who spoke up here ever contributing to the Hearthsim community, let alone joust. So I don't know where this was linked/shared, but if you guys want an actual say in which license should be applied, there's 35 other issues open waiting for pull requests.

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wolftune Mar 18, 2016

For reference: https://creativecommons.org/software/ CC does not recommend their own licenses for programs. The way the CC licenses are written aren't designed for that use. http://freedomdefined.org/Licenses/NC is a good reference to thoroughly deal with why copyleft licenses (the AGPL being the strongest) are better generally and address the reasons that most people ever want NC restrictions.

@jleclanche people in here got word that some project has confused ideas about how licenses work and so we generally care about the broad community using and understanding licenses correctly. That's the issue at hand. So, it's just to be helpful in that regard.

For reference: https://creativecommons.org/software/ CC does not recommend their own licenses for programs. The way the CC licenses are written aren't designed for that use. http://freedomdefined.org/Licenses/NC is a good reference to thoroughly deal with why copyleft licenses (the AGPL being the strongest) are better generally and address the reasons that most people ever want NC restrictions.

@jleclanche people in here got word that some project has confused ideas about how licenses work and so we generally care about the broad community using and understanding licenses correctly. That's the issue at hand. So, it's just to be helpful in that regard.

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kfogel Mar 18, 2016

@jleclanche What @wolftune said, about preventing ecosystem damage. If Joust is not going to be open source -- which it clearly isn't, given your statements -- then we're trying to avoid having it cause confusion in the open source community by mis-signalling with the AGPL (or any other open source license). Joust is proprietary software that happens to display its source code to the public; that's fine, but it sounds like you need to make a custom proprietary license in that case. Even if you haven't chosen (or created) that new license yet, it would clarify things if you'd remove the AGPL license file from the top level. I'm not commenting to help Joust -- got nothing against the project, I'm just not a contributor -- but rather to help Joust avoid contributing to a common misunderstanding in the wider software community, namely that there is such a thing as "open source for non-commercial use only". There isn't any such thing; it's a contradiction in terms.

kfogel commented Mar 18, 2016

@jleclanche What @wolftune said, about preventing ecosystem damage. If Joust is not going to be open source -- which it clearly isn't, given your statements -- then we're trying to avoid having it cause confusion in the open source community by mis-signalling with the AGPL (or any other open source license). Joust is proprietary software that happens to display its source code to the public; that's fine, but it sounds like you need to make a custom proprietary license in that case. Even if you haven't chosen (or created) that new license yet, it would clarify things if you'd remove the AGPL license file from the top level. I'm not commenting to help Joust -- got nothing against the project, I'm just not a contributor -- but rather to help Joust avoid contributing to a common misunderstanding in the wider software community, namely that there is such a thing as "open source for non-commercial use only". There isn't any such thing; it's a contradiction in terms.

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wolftune Mar 18, 2016

@kfogel @jleclanche not to draw this out, but

(A) "you have every right" ≠ "that's fine" (pet peeve of mine to point out)

(B) All contributors with copyright claims in the code do legally have a say about the license terms for their portion of the contributions, so keep that in mind and make sure to confirm any license decisions with them.

(C) I still think it's valuable for the project (or any project) to consider the possibility than plain AGPL actually can succeed at being a successful license for you that addresses many if not the majority of your concerns about commercial exploitation while providing the maximum embrace of community support and contribution.

@kfogel @jleclanche not to draw this out, but

(A) "you have every right" ≠ "that's fine" (pet peeve of mine to point out)

(B) All contributors with copyright claims in the code do legally have a say about the license terms for their portion of the contributions, so keep that in mind and make sure to confirm any license decisions with them.

(C) I still think it's valuable for the project (or any project) to consider the possibility than plain AGPL actually can succeed at being a successful license for you that addresses many if not the majority of your concerns about commercial exploitation while providing the maximum embrace of community support and contribution.

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jleclanche Mar 18, 2016

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@kfogel @wolftune we're already discussing this internally and I'm well aware of these limitations and distinctions.

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jleclanche commented Mar 18, 2016

@kfogel @wolftune we're already discussing this internally and I'm well aware of these limitations and distinctions.

@jleclanche jleclanche closed this in #63 Mar 18, 2016

@beheh beheh added the question label Oct 24, 2016

@beheh beheh changed the title from Licensing is confusing. to Licensing is confusing Oct 24, 2016

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