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Ask HN: Would you use this for LICENSE?
3 points by draq 849 days ago | 8 comments
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.

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"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.

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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

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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)?

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

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Ha, you have evaded my trick question well.

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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.

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No, not enough clarity.

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