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Ask HN: Would you use this for LICENSE?
3 points by draq 1467 days ago | hide | past | web | 8 comments | favorite
This code, my friend, is as free as your breath of air.

Give me credit, if through it you gain wealth and fame.

Yet if causes you trouble, I won't take the blame.

Don't be evil, but create what is good and fair.




If I was considering whether to incorporate code covered by this license into my project, I would have to reject it based on the license. So it would be hypocritical for me to release code under this license.

Line 2 is vague: how much wealth? How much fame? And how much credit?

Line 4 is also vague: what is "evil"? What is "good and fair"? Is a pharmaceutical website "good and fair" (they save people's lives!) or "evil" (they put profit above saving people's lives!)?

If I need to ask a lawyer just to find out whether I can use some code... I won't ask the lawyer, I just won't use the code.


"If I need to ask a lawyer just to find out whether I can use some code... I won't ask the lawyer, I just won't use the code."

Well said. I think the license is a good "spirit of the agreement" breakdown but it falls flat when it comes to expressly defining what is/isn't, must/mustn't, etc.


if the line "Don't be evil, but create what is good and fair." implies that the code should not be used for creating malicious things, than this is not a free license. See also problems with JSON license: http://tanguy.ortolo.eu/blog/article46/json-license


It is indeed a contradiction.

However - as an unrelated point - wouldn't "unfree" licenses be better (given the theoretical case we can decide with some certainty what is good or evil)?


Who knows? But the problem of licenses is inherently practical, so no theoretical cases apply :)


Ha, you have evaded my trick question well.


Nope. "I won't take the blame" still doesn't indemnify me against damages.

"what is good and fair" has no legal definition in any jurisdiction that I know of, which would scare away any lawyer with half a brain.


No, not enough clarity.




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