Great work, by the way. Kudos as well for committing to a DMCA abuse fund.
However, we don't want this to be a competitive advantage for GitHub; developers should choose GitHub because it is better, not because it has a license from OFAC. So we have taken it upon ourselves to advocate for OFAC to allow developers in Iran and other sanctioned countries greater access to all platforms, and we will continue to do so.
This kind of change would likely require an update to OFAC’s regulations, the issuance of an updated general license, or the issuance of formal guidance from the agency. We hope that OFAC’s issuance of a license to GitHub will help pave the way for broader access to similar platforms.
Was there some reason to believe that mentioning you were working towards this license would have a detrimental effect on the review process for that license?
Congratulations on prevailing here.
- Expectations settings. If they say they're working on a possible solution, people will expect the solution to materialize and get upset when it doesn't. Since this seems like it was a lobbying effort with OFAC, there was probably a large degree of uncertainty on whether this would happen at all.
- Like you suggested, maybe they thought any public comment about this might put at risk the conversations they were having with OFAC?
You have no control over when you get a permit from the government like this. It's nuts. Even when the open source exception to ITAR was passed in the late 90s MIT was very careful not to release kerberos V outside the USA until they had very clear guarantees that it was approved.
I am from Iran. unfortunately, we are prisoners of mullahs like peoples of other countries sanctioned by US that are prisoners of their dictatorship governments.