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Licensing of craftbeerpi forbids any changes #67

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stone opened this Issue Aug 3, 2016 · 14 comments

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stone commented Aug 3, 2016

Creating an Issue to follow up on the discussions on the facebook-page. The current license is very restrictive and makes it impossible to change the code and restricts its usage. In the spirit of many other projects like this one (brewpi, brewfactory..) please consider changing the license to an Open Source / Free Software one to encourage developers and other to join in and contribute to the project.

@Manuel83 Manuel83 added the enhancement label Aug 4, 2016

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guysoft Oct 12, 2017

Hey, same issue here.

  1. I want to fork and add support for SC2262 RF relays, but the license states It's not permitted to distribute the modified software. Modification can be distributed via the official CraftBeerPi release only..
    This license makes no sense, it means that all 116 forks to date are illegal.
  2. I wrote a raspberrypi distro that ships with craftbeerpi pre-installed, similar to OctoPi, but that can't be done neither.

If you want to stop non-commercial and want to make sure you are attributed correctly, I'd recommend using something such as Creative Commons. Moreover, If someone actually truly violates this you will actually have organizations that could help you legally.

@Manuel83 Can you please comment on this?

guysoft commented Oct 12, 2017

Hey, same issue here.

  1. I want to fork and add support for SC2262 RF relays, but the license states It's not permitted to distribute the modified software. Modification can be distributed via the official CraftBeerPi release only..
    This license makes no sense, it means that all 116 forks to date are illegal.
  2. I wrote a raspberrypi distro that ships with craftbeerpi pre-installed, similar to OctoPi, but that can't be done neither.

If you want to stop non-commercial and want to make sure you are attributed correctly, I'd recommend using something such as Creative Commons. Moreover, If someone actually truly violates this you will actually have organizations that could help you legally.

@Manuel83 Can you please comment on this?

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archonic Oct 12, 2017

I'm a full-time software engineer and I'd love to contribute to this repo and make it the best it can be, but my ability and motivation is severy hampered by the license. Limiting peoples contributions to plugins will really hurt quality over time.

archonic commented Oct 12, 2017

I'm a full-time software engineer and I'd love to contribute to this repo and make it the best it can be, but my ability and motivation is severy hampered by the license. Limiting peoples contributions to plugins will really hurt quality over time.

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Manuel83 Oct 12, 2017

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Well, I would like to change the license but I have one issue to be complete open source and free.
CraftBeerPi is designed for home brewers. Unfortunately it turned out that commercial users tried to package CraftBeePi and sell it standalone with preinstalled SD cards or build entire brewing controllers for a price of $500 or more without supporting the CBPi Project in any way. This is not the intention of CraftBeerPI and from my point of view not fair. I take my private money to buy all that hardware required to build this solution. I'm open to any license change. For example where private home brewers can change the code and install as they like but I want to avoid that other making profit out of a community project. I'm a simple software developer and this is my first community project.

I experienced once a project in the java environment. As small community from Turkey build an excellent UI framework. Unfortunately published with wrong license. There was one bigger commercial company. They just branched the code, rebranded it and sold it with a commercial license.

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Manuel83 commented Oct 12, 2017

Well, I would like to change the license but I have one issue to be complete open source and free.
CraftBeerPi is designed for home brewers. Unfortunately it turned out that commercial users tried to package CraftBeePi and sell it standalone with preinstalled SD cards or build entire brewing controllers for a price of $500 or more without supporting the CBPi Project in any way. This is not the intention of CraftBeerPI and from my point of view not fair. I take my private money to buy all that hardware required to build this solution. I'm open to any license change. For example where private home brewers can change the code and install as they like but I want to avoid that other making profit out of a community project. I'm a simple software developer and this is my first community project.

I experienced once a project in the java environment. As small community from Turkey build an excellent UI framework. Unfortunately published with wrong license. There was one bigger commercial company. They just branched the code, rebranded it and sold it with a commercial license.

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guysoft Oct 12, 2017

Ok, this is really good news. Because it means we can solve this and reach an understanding.

You could make it non-commercial share-alike for a start. It also means you need to give attribution:
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/de/deed.en

@foosel , the creator of OctoPrint uses AGPL. It requires anyone that makes a change to release the code.
She might have advice because she had OctoPrint sponsored by BQ. If I catch her.

Anyway sounds like what you want is CC 3.0 share alike non-commercial. What do you think?

guysoft commented Oct 12, 2017

Ok, this is really good news. Because it means we can solve this and reach an understanding.

You could make it non-commercial share-alike for a start. It also means you need to give attribution:
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/de/deed.en

@foosel , the creator of OctoPrint uses AGPL. It requires anyone that makes a change to release the code.
She might have advice because she had OctoPrint sponsored by BQ. If I catch her.

Anyway sounds like what you want is CC 3.0 share alike non-commercial. What do you think?

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stone Oct 13, 2017

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But there is no problem to use others work and build upon that?

This project is standing on the shoulders of many different Open Source / Free Software projects which have given you the right to use their software as you wish. They day when you loose interest in the project it will be impossible to keep it going with the current license and all the invested time is "wasted". I have seen this so many times and learned it the hard way.

IANAL but you have 20 contributors to the project, if they have not transferred the copyright to you I guess you need their permission to change the license.

IANAL There is always a way around the current license, like for those who remembers qmail/djbdns where the user downloads and install the software and add patches.

@guysoft GPL-3 handles this in a good way i think. AGPL is a good choice when you want hosted work shareable.

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stone commented Oct 13, 2017

But there is no problem to use others work and build upon that?

This project is standing on the shoulders of many different Open Source / Free Software projects which have given you the right to use their software as you wish. They day when you loose interest in the project it will be impossible to keep it going with the current license and all the invested time is "wasted". I have seen this so many times and learned it the hard way.

IANAL but you have 20 contributors to the project, if they have not transferred the copyright to you I guess you need their permission to change the license.

IANAL There is always a way around the current license, like for those who remembers qmail/djbdns where the user downloads and install the software and add patches.

@guysoft GPL-3 handles this in a good way i think. AGPL is a good choice when you want hosted work shareable.

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guysoft Oct 13, 2017

@stone CraftBeerPi is transferred over wifi, and AGPL is actually something that covers that. Moreover some companies don't use software because its AGPL. It might have a better effect and do what @Manuel83 wants. It means if a commercial company tweaks it and uses it internally they have to release the source. AGPL means you have to release the source code if the program is transferred over a network. It means if people package and sell it.

Also, Gina pointed out -There at the moment misleading text in the README. It says CraftBeerPi is a free & open source project.
That's misleading advertisement:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Open_Source_Definition#Definition
Namely:
3. Derived Works - The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the original software
5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups
6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor

But again, it really depends what @Manuel83 wants. I can only advise to open it, and perhaps consult with legal people because I can see there are several commercial projects already out there. And this one has potential to become a libre alternative.

guysoft commented Oct 13, 2017

@stone CraftBeerPi is transferred over wifi, and AGPL is actually something that covers that. Moreover some companies don't use software because its AGPL. It might have a better effect and do what @Manuel83 wants. It means if a commercial company tweaks it and uses it internally they have to release the source. AGPL means you have to release the source code if the program is transferred over a network. It means if people package and sell it.

Also, Gina pointed out -There at the moment misleading text in the README. It says CraftBeerPi is a free & open source project.
That's misleading advertisement:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Open_Source_Definition#Definition
Namely:
3. Derived Works - The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the original software
5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups
6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor

But again, it really depends what @Manuel83 wants. I can only advise to open it, and perhaps consult with legal people because I can see there are several commercial projects already out there. And this one has potential to become a libre alternative.

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guysoft Oct 17, 2017

Er - any progress @Manuel83 thoughts? What is missing for you to make a decision?

guysoft commented Oct 17, 2017

Er - any progress @Manuel83 thoughts? What is missing for you to make a decision?

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isarvalley Oct 18, 2017

So far, Manuel did a great job by adding a lot of new features. But as the project evolves it's getting more and more important to make it stable and reliable. In my opinion this is only possible by adding some code metrics, much more tests and so on. Not the fanciest thing to do but I guess this community has a lot of developer, like myself, which would be willing to do it.

So it would be great if the licence could by changed into a real open source licence to motivate more developer to take part. I hope there is one, which also takes Manuels whishes into account, which btw I can fully understand.

isarvalley commented Oct 18, 2017

So far, Manuel did a great job by adding a lot of new features. But as the project evolves it's getting more and more important to make it stable and reliable. In my opinion this is only possible by adding some code metrics, much more tests and so on. Not the fanciest thing to do but I guess this community has a lot of developer, like myself, which would be willing to do it.

So it would be great if the licence could by changed into a real open source licence to motivate more developer to take part. I hope there is one, which also takes Manuels whishes into account, which btw I can fully understand.

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t04514219 commented Oct 18, 2017

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aedocw Oct 19, 2017

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, what I'm writing here are merely my opinions.

The responses on this thread have been really helpful and productive in my opinion. As a user (and small contributor) of CraftBeerPi getting this sorted out is pretty important to me. Obviously I can continue using cbpi but I'm more concerned with keeping a strong community of contributors around it.

Given the commercial concerns @Manuel83 noted above, my suggestion would be to choose a strong copyleft license for this project. If you want to maintain an open source friendly license it's very difficult to also limit commercial use. It's possible1 but reasonably difficult IMO.

You can find more details on OSI licenses here2, and this writeup3 gives you a pretty easy to read overview of concerns around open source licenses. Finally, this faq4 has some good answers around limits you can impose.

It does seem that if you really want to have a healthy community of contributors, you also run the risk of seeing someone commercialize it. At a minimum though you can make it problematic for them to do so without maintaining license compliance (and if they are not in compliance and you feel like going through the effort, you can probably take them to court - that fact should discourage anyone who was just hoping to make a quick buck off the project).

aedocw commented Oct 19, 2017

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, what I'm writing here are merely my opinions.

The responses on this thread have been really helpful and productive in my opinion. As a user (and small contributor) of CraftBeerPi getting this sorted out is pretty important to me. Obviously I can continue using cbpi but I'm more concerned with keeping a strong community of contributors around it.

Given the commercial concerns @Manuel83 noted above, my suggestion would be to choose a strong copyleft license for this project. If you want to maintain an open source friendly license it's very difficult to also limit commercial use. It's possible1 but reasonably difficult IMO.

You can find more details on OSI licenses here2, and this writeup3 gives you a pretty easy to read overview of concerns around open source licenses. Finally, this faq4 has some good answers around limits you can impose.

It does seem that if you really want to have a healthy community of contributors, you also run the risk of seeing someone commercialize it. At a minimum though you can make it problematic for them to do so without maintaining license compliance (and if they are not in compliance and you feel like going through the effort, you can probably take them to court - that fact should discourage anyone who was just hoping to make a quick buck off the project).

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guysoft Oct 21, 2017

So just to note - there is someone that is quite clearly violating the license and is advertising his product with craftbeerpi in the official Facebook group. So this license is not only blocking me from distributing a free open souce distro of craftbeerpi, its also not stopping commercial sellers to redistribute and do exactly what @Manuel83 is trying to stop.

Link:
https://m.facebook.com/groups/1620423084927502?view=permalink&id=1735864836716659

Screenshot if you have no access:
screenshot_2017-10-21-11-52-21 01
up:content://media/external/file/109105

guysoft commented Oct 21, 2017

So just to note - there is someone that is quite clearly violating the license and is advertising his product with craftbeerpi in the official Facebook group. So this license is not only blocking me from distributing a free open souce distro of craftbeerpi, its also not stopping commercial sellers to redistribute and do exactly what @Manuel83 is trying to stop.

Link:
https://m.facebook.com/groups/1620423084927502?view=permalink&id=1735864836716659

Screenshot if you have no access:
screenshot_2017-10-21-11-52-21 01
up:content://media/external/file/109105

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guysoft Nov 21, 2017

Sent @Manuel83 and email about a month a go, no answer :(

guysoft commented Nov 21, 2017

Sent @Manuel83 and email about a month a go, no answer :(

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oleost Dec 2, 2017

@Manuel83 You clearly should come with an statement.

As a community software Craftbeerpi seems to be hurting from the license, and it's getting hold back.

oleost commented Dec 2, 2017

@Manuel83 You clearly should come with an statement.

As a community software Craftbeerpi seems to be hurting from the license, and it's getting hold back.

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D4p0up May 29, 2018

Hey @Manuel83, seems like you're putting some effort today on CBP3 GUI. Kudos.

Upon next release, would you mind reconsidering this license switch?

Thanks!

D4p0up commented May 29, 2018

Hey @Manuel83, seems like you're putting some effort today on CBP3 GUI. Kudos.

Upon next release, would you mind reconsidering this license switch?

Thanks!

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