Move to public domain #135

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merged 3 commits into from Oct 17, 2013

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@benbalter
Contributor

Right now the project as originally published is a work of the United States government and thus is not subject to domestic copyright protection. Subsequent non-government contributors retain their copyright and license their work under either the MIT or CC-BY licenses for code and text respectively. This pull requests is intended to facilitate a discussion on the desirability of moving the project entirely to the public domain.

Issues to discuss

  • Will a requirement that contributors waive all rights discourage (chill) casual contributors?
  • Contributor friction added by using a non-standard licensing scheme
  • Standard-setting implications beyond this project
  • If public domain is so great and all that, why isn't all non-commercial open source software public domain?
  • International copyright (e.g., if another government wants to fork and use?) @david-a-wheeler?
  • Dedication of current ©️ holders rights
  • Obligatory OGC review because 🔨

Current ©️ holders

If you would like to manifest your intent to relinquish all copyright claims to your prior contributions to the project, both code and text, under the terms described in this pull request, please reply with (at least) a 👍 (or a 👎 if you would prefer not to do so... which is your choice).

🇺🇸 Contributors

List built using this simple script and the GitHub Contributors API. I checked off those contributors who I knew to be government employees... please let me know if I was over inclusive in any case.

Thoughts?

@jpmckinney
Contributor

👍

@benbalter
Contributor

Some more explicit CC's due to anti-spam restrictions: @listrophy, @calvinmetcalf, @jedsundwall, @acouch, @tauberer, @leahbannon, @lourinaldi, @meiqimichelle, @dotmike, @GUI

@pborreli
Contributor

👍

@GUI
Contributor
GUI commented Aug 25, 2013

👍

@JoshData
Contributor

👍

@dsmorgan77
Contributor

👍

@mhogeweg
Contributor

👍

@nice-giraffe
Contributor

👍

@lourinaldi
Contributor

👍

@scor
Contributor
scor commented Aug 25, 2013

👍

@meiqimichelle
Contributor

👍

@calvinmetcalf
Contributor

👍

@dotmike
Contributor
dotmike commented Aug 26, 2013

👍

@willpugh
Contributor

+1

On Sun, Aug 25, 2013 at 6:56 PM, Mike Endale notifications@github.comwrote:

[image: 👍]


Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHubhttps://github.com/project-open-data/project-open-data.github.io/pull/135#issuecomment-23240362
.

@DruidSmith
Contributor

👍

@jhawk28
Contributor
jhawk28 commented Aug 26, 2013

👍

@listrophy
Contributor

👍

@russellpwirtz
Contributor

👍

@david-a-wheeler

I think dedicating the textual material to the public domain is a very reasonable idea.

Historically it has been challenging to dedicate works to the public domain in some jurisdictions; see http://creativecommons.org/about/cc0 if you want some of the detail.

However, there's a solution: the Creative Commons CC0 license. Just dedicate the material using CC0 as the "license" and you're all set. Go here for the details and steps for using it:
http://creativecommons.org/choose/zero/

Note: I actually recommend the MIT license, not CC0, for software. The MIT license provides a minor shield against lawsuits that the CC0 does not provide. That said, it's the authors' choice of what to do.

@waldoj
waldoj commented Aug 26, 2013

David, government works (debatably) can't be CC0, as they are devoid of any copyright protection. The idea here, as I understand it, is to ensure that government contributions to this website are under the legally appropriate terms, and that means that private contributions must be at the same level, which is to say public domain.

@benbalter
Contributor

@david-a-wheeler what are your thoughts on the unlicense as included in this pull request? Same disclaimer of liability as MIT, but with an explicit public domain dedication?

@waldoj the argument, as I understand it, is that government works are public domain, but under the license regime as it stands now, non-government contributors retain their copyright, thus we'll have a government policy that is encumbered by commercial copyright restrictions, even if in this case, they are as least restrictive as they can be, while still using the common terms of the open source community, and do not affect the rights of users.

Here, the MIT/CC or License/CC0 do the same thing for the government contribution (to explicitly state what rights users have), but with the pull request, non-governemnt contributors will inject their work into the public domain, rather than retain copyright, even though, there is no legal implications of doing so from a user's perspective. They can do whatever they want with it either way (and under these terms, absent suing the author).

I know @konklone's a big proponent, and may be able to articulate the why better. I'm just the messenger here. 😄

@david-a-wheeler

Actually, US government works do NOT need to be devoid of copyright protection. The prohibition only applies inside the US; the prohibition doesn't have anything to do with what happens outside the US. Which is why, if you want collaboration outside the US, you still need to declare a license or use some other way to ensure it's safe for everyone. This is one of those many legal technicalities that makes people angry at lawyers.

First, the TL;DR version: If you want something in the (copyright) public domain, use the CC0. That's what it is for.

Still here? Okay, let me try to explain.

A "work of the US government" - i.e., a work developed by a federal government employee as part of his official duties - does not (normally) have copyright in the US. But it CAN have an enforceable copyright outside the US. A lengthy explanation, from US government lawyers, is available from CENDI. See "Frequently Asked Questions About Copyright Issues Affecting the U.S. Government" (CENDI/2008-1 October 8, 2008), especially question 3.1.2 and what it leads to:
http://www.cendi.gov/publications/04-8copyright.html#312

You can go read the law and commentary yourself; it's at 17 USC 105 along with the related notes:
http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title17-section105&num=0&edition=prelim

This fact is even exploited by the NASA Open Source Agreement (the "NOSA"). I'm not a fan of the NOSA for other reasons, but my point is that NASA lawyers did consider this:
http://opensource.org/licenses/NASA-1.3

So if you want international collaboration, the legal status of the material needs to be clarified SOMEHOW. This is usually done by including some sort of license. Or a dedication that it's in the public domain (in the copyright sense).

A few warnings:

  1. All of this only applies to US federal government employees. If a contractor writes something, it's the contract that governs. I wrote a paper about what happens next: https://www.thecsiac.com/journal_article/publicly-releasing-open-source-software-developed-us-government#.UhvZwT_3PNo
  2. It turns out that there are some weird special cases. In some cases some government employees (in the US Postal Service or NIST at least) CAN create works that are copyrighted inside the US (as well as outside it) when they do something as part of their official duties.
  3. The term "public domain" turns out to have 2 conflicting definitions. Usually people mean "copyright public domain", that is, it effectively has no copyright limitations and you can do what you want. But export control laws and regulations also use the term "public domain", which I'll call "export control public domain". Export control public domain just means "available to the public, possibly for a fee". So Microsoft Word is public domain (in the export control sense), and is NOT in the public domain (in the copyright sense).

Oh, usual caveat: I'm not a lawyer, not your lawyer, and not a government lawyer. But I can point you to stuff lawyers have written!

@andrew-wolfe
Contributor

👍

@seanherron
Contributor

Just as a note, I know Marina pulled in several changes in the past week but they don't appear reflected in your list (for instance, I made several commits but don't seem to be pulled in here).

@MarinaMartin
Contributor

@seanherron I think I incorporated them into the as-yet-not-accepted #44.

@konklone
Contributor

I'm definitely a 👍 (though I'm not a contributor), and am really happy to see this happening. I don't know if there's anything left for me to articulate, after @benbalter, @waldoj, and @david-a-wheeler's explanations.

I'm a big fan of the Unlicense for code, too -- we use them in each licensed project over at /unitedstates. This is great.

@jedsundwall
Contributor

👍

@benbalter
Contributor

@seanherron @MarinaMartin additional commits from the above-listed contributors are fine... the commit count was there mainly to be explanatory (and to show of my API-foo). 😄

If there are new contributors, we'll need to get their consent before this can be merged. Note, however, that this would not apply retroactively to any pending pull requests from new contributors. We'd have to either get them to 👍 here, or comment on the individual pull request and get their consent before merging.

If/once this pull request is merged, any contributor who submits a pull request submitted for that point forward will have constructive notice of the contribution terms.

@rsignell-usgs

The suggestion here (http://opendata.stackexchange.com/questions/1046/github-license-for-code-written-by-us-government-employee ) to follow what HHS is using seems simple and effective.

"As a work of the United States Government, this package is in the public domain within the United States. Additionally, we waive copyright and related rights in the work worldwide through the CC0 1.0 Universal public domain dedication (which can be found at http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/)."

@pborreli
Contributor

You maybe need to edit Licensing part in CONTRIBUTING.md with updated info related to this change

@seanherron
Contributor

@rsignell-usgs 👍 (though we'll need to edit to apply to any contributed work)

@pborreli
Contributor

@benbalter I saw the change in README but I am referring to the CONTRIBUTING.md file linked when someone creates a PR see blog post

@konklone
Contributor

That's true, but CONTRIBUTING.md does link to README.md directly for more information on licensing. It wouldn't hurt to mention the waiving of copyright on the part of contributors, but doesn't seem necessary.

@david-a-wheeler

If you want to release something that's NOT code as public domain, I think using the CC0 makes complete sense. Following HHS's guidance here makes sense to me, too.

If you want to release CODE, I'd recommend the MIT license; it's widely-understood, has most of the effect of public domain, and it also provides mild lawsuit protection. I don't think CC0 (or any "public domain" license) is the best choice for code if you want to get people OUTSIDE the US government involved. In many cases the government is immune to lawsuits (the government has to consent to a lawsuit, by law or by court case, to be sued at all)... but nobody else has that privilege. Few people release code to the "public domain" (copyright sense); using the MIT license is more common. But if you really really want to release code as "public domain" then CC0 probably makes sense.

Note: I'm not a lawyer. The government folks should really get an OSS-knowledgeable attorney. CENDI.gov has some, e.g., Vicki Allums (DISA).

@david-a-wheeler

@benbalter : I recommend NEVER using the Unlicense. If you want to give the software away, that's great!! But use the MIT license instead for software (and CC0 for non-software).

The basic problem with the "unlicense" is that it was written by an amateur; there's no evidence that any lawyer helped write it. These kinds of licenses, sometimes called "crayon" licenses, often go terribly wrong because courts interpret these licenses... not programmers.

The OSI rejects the Unlicense, for example, and will not even consider evaluating it (or any other license that's not been developed with a lawyer). As Bruce Perens put here:
"such things have done serious harm to developers when they've not behaved as expected in court. Thus, naïvely propagating one could be considered to be in the category of irresponsible acts that can
damage others":
http://projects.opensource.org/pipermail/license-review/2012-January/000047.html
http://projects.opensource.org/pipermail/license-discuss/2011-December/000039.html

Without OSI evaluation, I'd worry a lot. But the OSI has reasons for its position. Open source software development almost got creamed years ago, in part because someone used the really-badly-written Artistic License 1.0. The defendant is STILL 10's of thousands of dollars in debt because of all this legal maneuvering, in part because they chose the Artistic License 1.0 (written by a NON lawyer). Some info:
http://jmri.sourceforge.net/k/Recent.shtml#2010-02-17

I took a quick look, as a non-lawyer, and came away with these concerns:

  • The "unlicense" refers to the "public domain", but that doesn't have a single defined meaning in law. In the US it could mean "copyright public domain" or "export control pulblic domain".
  • The text of the license fails to say that it permits persons "to whom the Software is furnished to do" the same things, as compared to the MIT license or similar license... so perhaps the rights stop after the initial distribution.
  • It tries to disclaim warranty, yet it also claims to release to the public domain. If you release it to the COPYRIGHT public domain, then under what legal theory can you require the user to accept that warranty is disclimed? If it's copyrighted, you can say use it conditional on accepting the disclaimer, but that SEEMS to be disclaimed.
  • See the CC0's contortions to try to work in other jurisdictions, for comparison. This license doesn't imitate what the CC0 does. Thus, I suspect it would fail to work in some jurisdictions as intended.
  • It's not even shorter than the MIT license. What problem is getting solved here?

Now it MIGHT work just fine. But why take a chance? Normally you should not write code... you should reuse GOOD code, by someone who knows what they are doing. Similarly, you should normally not write a license. You should reuse a GOOD license, by someone who knows what they are doing.

Hey, my hat's off to people who want to give their software away, and to people who want clear licenses. But don't create an unnecessary legal problem. It's better to find a license that's already been vetted by lawyers that does what you want to do, and to strongly prefer something that's already in wide use.

@JoshData
Contributor

@david-a-wheeler: On the question of disclaiming liability, CC0 also disclaims liability (paragraph 4b). It's very similar to the MIT license in that regard. So there is, apparently, no conflict between disclaiming liability and waiving copyright, and given what we're trying to achieve in this pull request, that means CC0 should also be preferable to the MIT license, right?

@benbalter Is there any reason to prefer the Unlicense to CC0? It looks like the two do exactly the same thing, but CC0 does it in more words (and, apparently, is better vetted). I know people don't seem to like CC0 for software, but I think that's from a preference for OSI licenses, not a preference for other public domain dedications. See http://wiki.creativecommons.org/CC0_FAQ#May_I_apply_CC0_to_computer_software.3F_If_so.2C_is_there_a_recommended_implementation.3F. So, here too, I think CC0 would be preferable to the Unlicense.

@david-a-wheeler

@tauberer : Not so sure, need a lawyer.

Here's my legal concern, and it's one of those technicalities that (again) makes people hate lawyers. There probably is not a conflict between disclaiming liability and waiving copyright. But the disclaimer may fail to work. The only thing to enforce the disclaimer is permission to use under copyright... which is being removed. This doesn't really matter for the CC0, usually, since the CC0 is not usually used for software, and it's harder to make liability claims stick with most other copyrighted material. But here we're talking about using the CC0 for software!! Creative Commons itself doesn't recommend its licenses for software, that's not what they are for. Lawyers often stick text into licenses "just in case", in the hopes that it MIGHT work, but if you want it to actually work, you need to check the fine print.

My key point is that you should stick with licenses that are (1) widely used and (2) have been vetted by lawyers. The Unlicense fails on point #2, while the MIT and CC0 licenses do just fine on both counts.

Regarding the CC0 vs. MIT license for software, I think the MIT license is the better choice for software, while CC0 is fine for the rest, though I can see the appeal of CC0.

@JoshData
Contributor

CC doesn't recommend its licenses for software, but they say in the link I posted above that CC0 (which is not a license) is OK for software: "Yes, CC0 is suitable for dedicating your copyright and related rights in computer software to the public domain, to the fullest extent possible under law. Unlike CC licenses, which should not be used for software, CC0 is compatible with many software licenses, including the GPL."

They also have a FAQ entry on the question of liability: "CC0 explicitly disclaims "representations or warranties of any kind" (see 4(b)). This is not affected by CC0's abandonment of all copyright-related rights to the extent legally possible." http://wiki.creativecommons.org/CC0_FAQ#Does_using_CC0_affect_my_ability_to_disclaim_warranties.3F

So... At least those lawyers have weighed in.

I don't have a stake in the CC0 vs Unlicense question, but I'm not seeing the evidence that MIT has any advantage. And, again, even if there's a disadvantage, that needs to be weighed against the policy goal of ensuring that no one owns federal policy. I think it's pretty damn important that no one owns federal policy, and if that means the POD website doesn't look as nice (because that's what we're talking about here, the software that formats and displays the policy) because fewer outsiders are motivated to contribute, no big loss!

@konklone
Contributor

The MIT license is a great thing, but it doesn't achieve the goals of putting the code into the public domain. It's a permissive method of retaining copyright.

You raise some good points about the Unlicense. I'd love to hear what the lawyers at the OGC think. But if not Unlicense, then it's got to be CC0 over MIT for the code. Josh correctly points out that Creative Commons believes CC0 is suitable for software.

Whatever this project uses for its non-government contributors, OGC will vet it. Whether it's the Unlicense or CC0, it will be a strong validation of US government works as public material, and set valuable precedent for dedicating software to the public domain.

@Scotchester Scotchester referenced this pull request in cfpb/qu Aug 29, 2013
Merged

Change license to CC0 #94

@rodowi
Contributor
rodowi commented Aug 31, 2013

I hereby manifest my intent to relinquish all copyright claims to my prior contributions to the project

👍

@bendiken

@tauberer @david-a-wheeler @konklone @benbalter: As one of the founders of the Unlicense initiative, let me share some presently absent history and context regarding this Unlicense vis-a-vis CC0 conversation.

Back in the day, Creative Commons used to discourage the use of any of their licensing instruments, including significantly CC0, for software projects. Given that many people, including yours truly, in fact did wish to release their software into the public domain, this was one impetus behind the formation of the Unlicense initiative.

After much research, we settled on emulating and building on the effective approach of what was then and what is still today the most successful public domain software project of all time, namely SQLite. SQLite is in your pocket (Android/iPhone), on your desk (OS X/Firefox/Chrome/Skype/etc), on your servers (Python/PHP/etc)—it's just everywhere. SQLite being in the public domain instead of copyrighted as usual did not seem to have materially impeded its proliferation any; quite the opposite argument could be made.

So, to form the Unlicense public domain dedication template, we combined the field-tested SQLite public domain dedication, which itself has its origins in the (pre-CC0) Creative Commons public domain certification, with the no-warranty verbiage from the MIT/X11 license, the license most of us previously used. The rationale can be found in Dissecting the Unlicense: Software Freedom in Four Clauses and a Link.

Quickly enough, the Unlicense initiative succeeded in gaining rather more momentum than we thought it might, demonstrating an untapped market demand for a straightforward and documented process for releasing software into the public domain (one way or another). I wrote about this in The Unlicense: The First Year in Review.

Indeed, the initiative was soon enough noticed by the good folks at Creative Commons. In dialogues that followed, Mike Linksvayer, vice president at Creative Commons, expressed to us that Creative Commons were very supportive of the initiative and were considering changing their own CC0 recommendations to encourage software use as well. In due course the following year, Creative Commons finished their deliberations on the subject and proceeded to do exactly that.

That was great, as the intent of the Unlicense template was never to try and cover any and all bases. That would take an instrument (at least) the length of CC0. The Unlicense doesn't "compete" with CC0 in any meaningful way; rather, they simply represent differing levels of formality to releasing your work into the public domain.

Specifically, the Unlicense addresses the broad gulf in-between the typical, trivial one-liner public domain dedication ("This project is in the public domain") and the (in many circles) perceived overkill of CC0. The relationship between the Unlicense and CC0 is not dissimilar to that between the MIT/X11 License and the Apache License: nobody doubts that the Apache verbiage covers more bases, but hordes of developers explicitly continue to prefer and promote the MIT approach for its relative brevity and simplicity.

We've found much the same with the Unlicense: many developers would like to dedicate their project to the public domain, feel they need something more explicit than a one-liner statement to that effect, yet are turned off by CC0. Unlicense.org serves as a dedication template they can draw on, plus perhaps even more importantly a jumping point and repository of knowledge to concrete case examples from thousands of other unencumbered projects. Most projects do use the template as-is, others use it as the foundation for something more formal (sometimes including patent protection verbiage, or the like).

Now, the fact is that the vast bulk of public domain code here on GitHub uses merely a simple single-line public domain dedication, so evidently a good many folks feel that suffices and works for them. Indeed, some developers do consider even the Unlicense's four paragraphs to be overkill. However, for those who do feel they need an increased level of formality, there is the Unlicense and CC0—in that order. In situations warranting maximal formality, certainly you'd prefer CC0. Context matters.

To address @david-a-wheeler's comment, OSI have traditionally been hostile to the notion of the public domain. Lawrence Rosen, general counsel and secretary of OSI, back in 2002 published an influential Linux Journal essay, Why the Public Domain Isn't a License, which keeps popping up still today and is easily the number-one cited source of FUD regarding the perceived morass of publishing public domain software. See D.J. Bernstein's page on placing documents into to the public domain for more on this.

In a twist, though, Rosen actually eventually recanted his previous position a decade later in 2012 (no longer at his former position at OSI):

I admit that I have argued for years against the "public domain" as an open source license, but in retrospect, considering the minimal risk to developers and users relying on such software and the evident popularity of that "license", I changed my mind. One can't stand in the way of a fire hose of free public domain software, even if it doesn't come with a better FOSS license that I trust more.

The firehose Rosen speaks of can be witnessed right here on GitHub on an everyday basis. Clearly, the public domain is a strong growth trend. Let's just be thankful nobody had to await permission from OSI for that to happen.

Another twist to the OSI question is that you'll note in their FAQ:

For a different viewpoint than the one presented above, see unlicense.org.

At this point, lawyers at both Creative Commons and the Free Software Foundation have reviewed the Unlicense and find it a usable, GPL-compatible public domain dedication. Lawyers that they are, they recommend using CC0. As I've hopefully succeeded in explaining, we at the Unlicense initiative have no beef with that. Whatever works to produce more wholly free and unencumbered software; we ourselves actively promote both CC0 and the Unlicense on an everyday basis.

In closing, as for considering the Unlicense a "crayon" license: well, unlike (say) the WTFPL, the Unlicense isn't even a copyright license per se. Just like CC0, the Unlicense is a public domain dedication, and an explicit one at that (seeking above all else to clearly establish the author's intent, which facilitates appropriate interpretation in any reasonable court of law). Of course, there's hardly any limit to the length and detail one could make such a public domain dedication, and CC0 definitely covers more bases in that regard. Plenty of people, however, feel that the Unlicense amply suffices. And for those who feel they really and truly do need CC0, just use CC0; I would hope, though, that that should be no reason to disparage contrary choices made by others in different contexts.

@leahbannon
Contributor

👍

@david-a-wheeler

I recommend CC0 over Unlicense, because the CC0 has received a whole lot more lawyer-vetting to make sure that the document really does release the work to the public domain. When choosing a legal mechanism, I think it's wise to choose the mechanism with stronger legal vetting... especially if you're the US government.

That said, I strongly respect the Unlicense authors and those who choose the Unlicense. While I think the CC0 is a better-tested mechanism, I think it's also clear that they have the same goal. I certainly don't mean to disparage various alternatives, particularly their goals.

@bendiken - Thanks VERY much for the background posted above, that was excellent info.

Rosen and I have had a long-running battle over whether or not someone can release software as (copyright) public domain (of course you can!), and if public domain is open source software (of course it is, because it meets the definition!). I'm glad that Rosen has finally changed heart.

I recommend focusing on rights, not on who is the "owner". Typically asking "who is the copyright holder?" is a waste of time. In government contracting, a common situation is that the the government has rights as if it is the copyright holder, and the copyright holder has no rights at all. If you want more details, check this out:
https://www.thecsiac.com/journal_article/publicly-releasing-open-source-software-developed-us-government

If you focus on rights then the MIT license still makes sense. But if completely releasing to the (copyright) public domain is the whole point, then CC0 would certainly meet the goal.

@jqnatividad
Contributor

👍

@philipashlock
Contributor

👍

@JoshData
Contributor

Only three folks left (@jonasalmeida, @acouch, @pschweitzerusgsgov) plus @benbalter. If anyone knows those guys please give them a nudge to +1 here.

@pschweitzerusgsgov
Contributor

+1

@jpmckinney
Contributor

I sent an email to @acouch

@acouch
Contributor
acouch commented Sep 20, 2013

+1 Sorry I had initially looked but didn't see my name there. Awesome work.

@haleyvandyck
Contributor

fantastic. i think we are down to one final approval -- @jonasalmeida, what do you think?

@JoshData
Contributor

I emailed @jonasalmeida. However his commit ea528a1 is almost certainly not protected by copyright law since it's a one-word substitution. So I would heftily suggest we just move on.

@benbalter : Can we get your +1? :)

[Edit: @jpmckinney : Thanks for emailing acouch.]

@benbalter
Contributor

To summarize the above, excellent discussion (roughly):

Current status

  • The project content is currently licensed under CC-BY
  • Project code is currently licensed under the MIT license which allows copyright to remain with the contributor, and grants all usage rights to software consumers, under the condition that they disclaim liability
  • "It's a government work, so it must be public domain" is not a valid assumption on the internet where collaboration with non-domestic contributors is highly likely. Some means of clarifying downstream users' rights is necessary.

Content

  • There is a consensus to move from CC-BY to CC-0 for content

Code

  • Unlicensed is a perfectly valid public dedication for software and mirrors MIT in many ways
  • CC0 is a valid public dedication for both content and code, although notably more lawered (in length and review) than the Unlicense
  • Releasing code under MIT is functionally equivalent to a public domain dedication
  • Despite this functional equivalence, there is a community desire to prefer contributors relinquish all ownership claims to government policy or their means of publication

Editorial

Dicta

  • As with most technical challenges, I'd argue for pragmatism over purity
  • I'd argue that, in general if there's no practical difference between MIT and public domain, it's better to stick with what developers know and use, not what the government (or wonks) prefer or find morally superior
  • I'd argue that, in general open source software should prefer simple, common licenses over complex ones (again, optimizing for the developer experience and encouraging contribution)

Recommendation

  • Here, since this is a mixed content/code repository, rather than bifurcating or dual licensing the project, lets just CC0 the whole thing for simplicity sake.

Next steps

(assuming there's general consensus)

  • Resync the contributor list with any new contributors since the list was generated
  • Get new approval, as necessary
  • Update this pull request to reflect CC0 for all code and content
  • :shipit:
@seanherron
Contributor

@rrbaker and @ultrasaurus are government employees, so we should be good on
that front

On Thu, Sep 26, 2013 at 4:02 PM, Ben Balter notifications@github.comwrote:

Needs a [image: 👍]

Updated List (using the same script as above)

  • @haleyvandyck https://github.com/haleyvandyck (70 contributionshttps://github.com/project-open-data/project-open-data.github.io/commits?author=haleyvandyck
    )
  • @MarinaMartin https://github.com/MarinaMartin (32 contributionshttps://github.com/project-open-data/project-open-data.github.io/commits?author=MarinaMartin
    )
  • @benbalter https://github.com/benbalter (20 contributionshttps://github.com/project-open-data/project-open-data.github.io/commits?author=benbalter
    )
  • @jpmckinney https://github.com/jpmckinney (17 contributionshttps://github.com/project-open-data/project-open-data.github.io/commits?author=jpmckinney
    )
  • @andrew-wolfe https://github.com/andrew-wolfe (9 contributionshttps://github.com/project-open-data/project-open-data.github.io/commits?author=andrew-wolfe
    )
  • @jqnatividad https://github.com/jqnatividad (8 contributionshttps://github.com/project-open-data/project-open-data.github.io/commits?author=jqnatividad
    )
  • @gbinal https://github.com/gbinal (6 contributionshttps://github.com/project-open-data/project-open-data.github.io/commits?author=gbinal
    )
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Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHubhttps://github.com/project-open-data/project-open-data.github.io/pull/135#issuecomment-25198977
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@benbalter
Contributor

@rrbaker and @ultrasaurus are government employees, so we should be good on that front

Done. Unless there's any objection, I'd let the CC0 recommendation sit for a bit for others to weigh in, but I think once the pull request is updated, we should be able to 🚢 this.

@jpmckinney
Contributor

For my part, I've never had any issue with CC licenses. From my experience, people very, very rarely read the actual CC license text, and instead just read the official "human-readable summary" like http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/ which is easier to read than most licenses.

In terms of impact on developer experience and encouraging contribution, personally, I've written nearly 200 pull requests on GitHub and I've never even checked what license the project was released under. But that's just me, and maybe most people actually make decisions about whether to contribute based on licenses (as opposed to, say, utility).

@benbalter
Contributor

@haleyvandyck et. al., when you reboot, I'd say this is 👍, and ideally should be the first pull request merged so that we don't have to retroactively seek a more permissive license / public domain dedication from additional contributors.

🏆 🔓

@benbalter benbalter referenced this pull request in github/choosealicense.com Oct 3, 2013
Closed

Bring back CC0 #61

@NoahKunin

Ready for @haleyvandyck to close this epic and worthy PR down! I know some agencies (my own included) are raring to go on getting some public implementation done.

@haleyvandyck
Contributor

This is wonderful-- thanks so much everyone! Happy to make this the first real post-shutdown merged pull request 🏆

@haleyvandyck haleyvandyck merged commit 0c6fdfc into master Oct 17, 2013

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@benbalter benbalter deleted the delicense branch Oct 17, 2013
@dvogel dvogel pushed a commit to dvogel/congress that referenced this pull request Feb 8, 2014
@konklone konklone Switching from Unlicense to CC0, see cfpb/qu#94 and project-open-data… e034e47
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