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Switch licensing over to MIT license #143

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rmzelle commented Oct 24, 2017

As decided in #126.

Probably still want to relicense the actual 0.8.1, 1.0, and 1.0.1 releases as well by making these same changes in release branches.

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@bdarcus, @simonster, @fbennett, @adam3smith, can you give this a quick look-over? The first three of you agreed previously to move the license over to MIT.

Main comments:

  • I added a general LICENSE.txt file with the MIT license to the repository, with a copyright to "Citation Style Language" instead of our individual names. Let me know if you think it's better to use names.
  • If we accept this, I plan to create branches all the CSL releases, and update the license for each release (I'll move the version tags to the head of each release branch).
  • I found a Dublin Core "license" term, so I used that: http://dublincore.org/documents/dcmi-terms/#terms-license. Since the MIT license still contains a copyright claim, I left the original Dublin Core copyright claims intact (except for csl-data.rnc, where @bdarcus used dc:copyright, which I don't think exists; I moved that over to dc:rights)
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rmzelle commented Oct 24, 2017

@bdarcus, @simonster, @fbennett, @adam3smith, can you give this a quick look-over? The first three of you agreed previously to move the license over to MIT.

Main comments:

  • I added a general LICENSE.txt file with the MIT license to the repository, with a copyright to "Citation Style Language" instead of our individual names. Let me know if you think it's better to use names.
  • If we accept this, I plan to create branches all the CSL releases, and update the license for each release (I'll move the version tags to the head of each release branch).
  • I found a Dublin Core "license" term, so I used that: http://dublincore.org/documents/dcmi-terms/#terms-license. Since the MIT license still contains a copyright claim, I left the original Dublin Core copyright claims intact (except for csl-data.rnc, where @bdarcus used dc:copyright, which I don't think exists; I moved that over to dc:rights)
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Looks perfect to me -- thanks!

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adam3smith commented Oct 25, 2017

Looks perfect to me -- thanks!

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Simon signed off on it as well with a thumbs-up, so just waiting for @bdarcus and @fbennett :).

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rmzelle commented Oct 25, 2017

Simon signed off on it as well with a thumbs-up, so just waiting for @bdarcus and @fbennett :).

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bdarcus commented Oct 25, 2017

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To the extent that this is copyrighteable, you, as the authors, own the copyright. You would have to explicitly sign it over to CSL -- just writing here that CSL has the copyright won't do in legal terms. Given that CSL is not a legal entity, I think signing copyright over would put this on much less solid legal foundations and we shouldn't do it.

We can ask the people at the software conservancy -- that type of advice is one of the things they do.

Edit: Here's what FSF says&does: https://www.gnu.org/licenses/why-assign.en.html

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adam3smith commented Oct 25, 2017

To the extent that this is copyrighteable, you, as the authors, own the copyright. You would have to explicitly sign it over to CSL -- just writing here that CSL has the copyright won't do in legal terms. Given that CSL is not a legal entity, I think signing copyright over would put this on much less solid legal foundations and we shouldn't do it.

We can ask the people at the software conservancy -- that type of advice is one of the things they do.

Edit: Here's what FSF says&does: https://www.gnu.org/licenses/why-assign.en.html

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Yes, so I guess the main question is to whether replace "Citation Style Language" in the newly added LICENSE.txt by our names.

I could also just remove LICENSE.txt, but it might be nice to license the entire repository contents.

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rmzelle commented Oct 25, 2017

Yes, so I guess the main question is to whether replace "Citation Style Language" in the newly added LICENSE.txt by our names.

I could also just remove LICENSE.txt, but it might be nice to license the entire repository contents.

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fbennett commented Oct 25, 2017

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We can ask the people at the software conservancy -- that type of advice is one of the things they do.

That would be good, especially since CSL's legal status will likely change if we become a member of the conservancy.

(we also have the same question for other CSL repositories that already use the MIT license, such as https://github.com/citation-style-language/distribution-updater/blob/master/LICENSE.txt and https://github.com/citation-style-language/csl-validator/blob/gh-pages/LICENSE.txt)

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rmzelle commented Oct 26, 2017

We can ask the people at the software conservancy -- that type of advice is one of the things they do.

That would be good, especially since CSL's legal status will likely change if we become a member of the conservancy.

(we also have the same question for other CSL repositories that already use the MIT license, such as https://github.com/citation-style-language/distribution-updater/blob/master/LICENSE.txt and https://github.com/citation-style-language/csl-validator/blob/gh-pages/LICENSE.txt)

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fbennett commented Oct 26, 2017

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dhimmel Aug 6, 2018

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Why not just say:

Copyright (c) 2007-2017 Contributors

Or

Copyright (c) 2007-2017 Citation Style Language and Contributors

Hopefully this issue won't hold up merging this PR for much longer. The lack of a license is a much bigger issue!

Also would not CC0 make more sense? Just waive all copyright protection here, since individuals likely want to reuse these schema files in many places without worrying about legal stuff.

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dhimmel commented Aug 6, 2018

Why not just say:

Copyright (c) 2007-2017 Contributors

Or

Copyright (c) 2007-2017 Citation Style Language and Contributors

Hopefully this issue won't hold up merging this PR for much longer. The lack of a license is a much bigger issue!

Also would not CC0 make more sense? Just waive all copyright protection here, since individuals likely want to reuse these schema files in many places without worrying about legal stuff.

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let's not use CC0: https://wiki.creativecommons.org/wiki/CC0_FAQ#May_I_apply_CC0_to_computer_software.3F_If_so.2C_is_there_a_recommended_implementation.3F -- we want an OSI approved license to be safe, and it's not like using MIT is all that hard.

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adam3smith commented Aug 7, 2018

let's not use CC0: https://wiki.creativecommons.org/wiki/CC0_FAQ#May_I_apply_CC0_to_computer_software.3F_If_so.2C_is_there_a_recommended_implementation.3F -- we want an OSI approved license to be safe, and it's not like using MIT is all that hard.

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From the Creative Commons FAQ:

However, CC0 has not been approved by the Open Source Initiative and does not license or otherwise affect any patent rights you may have.

The main issue why CC0 was not OSI approved was the patent rights, which I don't think are relevant in the case of this repository. However, it's a good point that some users may want to use this repo under an OSI-approved license.

Hence, I suggest dual-licensing the repo as MIT and CC0. Thus users can choose which license they would like to reuse the content under. For more information on dual licensing see cognoma/cancer-data#5 and the implementation in cognoma/cancer-data@1d961fb.

it's not like using MIT is all that hard.

First I don't think MIT is as appropriate as a CC license, because the content of this repository is less of code and more along the lines of documentation.

The use case I'm imagining is using csl-data.json in another repository, with some modifications to customize it, thereby creating a derivative. According to MIT:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

Therefore, I have to now store the MIT license as part of my repo. Obviously, non-compliance with this clause is high, which reflects that even the loose requirements of MIT are still too onerous / unclear for many users. I like having a CC0 option because it accommodates users without the legal expertise to comply with a license.

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dhimmel commented Aug 7, 2018

From the Creative Commons FAQ:

However, CC0 has not been approved by the Open Source Initiative and does not license or otherwise affect any patent rights you may have.

The main issue why CC0 was not OSI approved was the patent rights, which I don't think are relevant in the case of this repository. However, it's a good point that some users may want to use this repo under an OSI-approved license.

Hence, I suggest dual-licensing the repo as MIT and CC0. Thus users can choose which license they would like to reuse the content under. For more information on dual licensing see cognoma/cancer-data#5 and the implementation in cognoma/cancer-data@1d961fb.

it's not like using MIT is all that hard.

First I don't think MIT is as appropriate as a CC license, because the content of this repository is less of code and more along the lines of documentation.

The use case I'm imagining is using csl-data.json in another repository, with some modifications to customize it, thereby creating a derivative. According to MIT:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

Therefore, I have to now store the MIT license as part of my repo. Obviously, non-compliance with this clause is high, which reflects that even the loose requirements of MIT are still too onerous / unclear for many users. I like having a CC0 option because it accommodates users without the legal expertise to comply with a license.

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I suggest dual-licensing the repo as MIT and CC0

I'm not sure I'm on board with CC0. Let's first figure out how to license the schema/repo under the MIT license. It would help if we had some legal advise on the best party to claim copyright (individuals or "Citation Style Language" ). "Contributors" seems a bit too vague.

There are also some related discussions at:
https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/157968/how-to-manage-a-copyright-notice-in-an-open-source-project
https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/117572/mit-and-copyright
https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/210472/is-renewal-of-mit-license-needed-on-github-at-the-beginning-of-each-year
https://opensource.stackexchange.com/questions/5778/why-do-licenses-such-as-the-mit-license-specify-a-single-year

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rmzelle commented Aug 9, 2018

I suggest dual-licensing the repo as MIT and CC0

I'm not sure I'm on board with CC0. Let's first figure out how to license the schema/repo under the MIT license. It would help if we had some legal advise on the best party to claim copyright (individuals or "Citation Style Language" ). "Contributors" seems a bit too vague.

There are also some related discussions at:
https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/157968/how-to-manage-a-copyright-notice-in-an-open-source-project
https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/117572/mit-and-copyright
https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/210472/is-renewal-of-mit-license-needed-on-github-at-the-beginning-of-each-year
https://opensource.stackexchange.com/questions/5778/why-do-licenses-such-as-the-mit-license-specify-a-single-year

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bdarcus commented Aug 9, 2018

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So I talked to some copyright people and the copyright statement is basically meaningless, so we can have it say whatever we want. These statements are relevant for earlier works, but according to current US copyright law, copyright rests automatically with the author(s) unless it is explicitly transferred (in writing) so that such statements have no legal effect. I think

Copyright (c) 2007-2018 Citation Style Language and Contributors

meets the spirit of what we want to say and rather than further delaying adding this license, we should just go ahead with that.

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adam3smith commented Oct 9, 2018

So I talked to some copyright people and the copyright statement is basically meaningless, so we can have it say whatever we want. These statements are relevant for earlier works, but according to current US copyright law, copyright rests automatically with the author(s) unless it is explicitly transferred (in writing) so that such statements have no legal effect. I think

Copyright (c) 2007-2018 Citation Style Language and Contributors

meets the spirit of what we want to say and rather than further delaying adding this license, we should just go ahead with that.

@dhimmel

Looks like this PR is almost ready to go! Just a friendly reminder to keep things moving here as the damage from not having a license is likely much worse than the damage from the copyright assertion statements not being perfect (although I think they're good).

@@ -13,8 +13,9 @@ dc:creator [ "Simon Kornblith" ]
bibo:editor [ "Frank Bennett" ]
bibo:editor [ "Rintze Zelle" ]
dc:rights [
"Copyright 2007-2012 by Frank Bennett, Bruce D'Arcus, Simon Kornblith, and Rintze Zelle. Permission to freely use, copy and distribute."
"Copyright 2007-2017 Frank Bennett, Bruce D'Arcus, Simon Kornblith, and Rintze Zelle"

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dhimmel Oct 15, 2018

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Reminder to update to 2018 or even removing these dates if they're more trouble than they're worth.

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Reminder to update to 2018 or even removing these dates if they're more trouble than they're worth.

dc:rights [
"Copyright 2013 Rintze M. Zelle. Permission to freely use, copy and distribute."
]
dc:rights [ "Copyright 2013-2017 Rintze Zelle" ]

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dhimmel Oct 15, 2018

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2018

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2018

@@ -2,7 +2,8 @@ namespace dc = "http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/"
dc:title [ "Citation Style Language Data" ]
dc:creator [ "Bruce D'Arcus" ]
dc:copyright [ "Bruce D'Arcus, 2009" ]
dc:rights [ "Copyright 2009-2017 Bruce D'Arcus" ]

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dhimmel Oct 15, 2018

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2018

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2018

# Licensing
This repository is released under the MIT license.

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dhimmel Oct 15, 2018

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Consider linking to license file like:

This repository is released under the [MIT license](LICENSE.txt).

Or even removing this section since most users will know that the LICENSE file is the relevant reference here.

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dhimmel Oct 15, 2018

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Consider linking to license file like:

This repository is released under the [MIT license](LICENSE.txt).

Or even removing this section since most users will know that the LICENSE file is the relevant reference here.

@@ -0,0 +1,21 @@
MIT License
Copyright (c) 2007-2017 Citation Style Language

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dhimmel Oct 15, 2018

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See suggestion by @adam3smith in #143 (comment)

Copyright (c) 2007-2018 Citation Style Language and Contributors

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dhimmel Oct 15, 2018

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See suggestion by @adam3smith in #143 (comment)

Copyright (c) 2007-2018 Citation Style Language and Contributors

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I think

Copyright (c) 2007-2018 Citation Style Language and Contributors

meets the spirit of what we want to say and rather than further delaying adding this license, we should just go ahead with that.

@fbennett, @bdarcus, @simonster, please let us know within a week if you have any objections to this change. Fine with me.

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rmzelle commented Oct 15, 2018

I think

Copyright (c) 2007-2018 Citation Style Language and Contributors

meets the spirit of what we want to say and rather than further delaying adding this license, we should just go ahead with that.

@fbennett, @bdarcus, @simonster, please let us know within a week if you have any objections to this change. Fine with me.

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bdarcus commented Oct 15, 2018

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