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Open Source

Open Source Licensing Debate Has Positive Effect On GitHub 96

New submitter Lemeowski writes "Critics have been pounding GitHub recently, claiming it is hosting tons of code with no explicit software license. The debate was thrust into the limelight last year when James Governor of RedMonk issued an acclaimed tweet about young developers being 'about POSS — post open source software,' meaning they disliked or avoided licensing and governance. Red Hat's IP attorney Richard Fontana explores the complaint saying there is a positive aspect of the POSS and GitHub phenomenon: Developers are, for the first time in the history of free software, helping inform each other about licensing and aiding in the selection process. The result is that it's becoming easier to suggest legal improvements to GitHub-hosted repositories."
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Open Source Licensing Debate Has Positive Effect On GitHub

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  • by Marble68 ( 746305 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @04:30PM (#44557487) Homepage

    Coding is a communal and collaborative effort for the most part, as almost all people reach out for help and give it when asked.

    That "legal licensing" would be treated any different than any other API by the tech community shouldn't be surprising, IMHO.

  • by Artraze ( 600366 ) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @05:20PM (#44558149)

    Your link indicates that (among other things):
    1) Copyright abandonment is really only recognized in the Ninth Circuit, and remains unknown elsewhere
    2) Releasing into the public domain provides no liability protection to the author
    3) Copyright abandonment requires a formal, explicit statement

    If you have to provide something that is nearly indistinguishable from a license, why not just provide a well established license that can not only remove all uncertainty and provide explicit terms disavowing all use of the software?

    Something like the MIT License or Simplified BSD License is well established, takes only a minute to read, and achieves all the major goals of releasing into the public domain while avoiding many of the pitfalls. This whole POSS thing is ridiculous and seems to be driven by some combination of intellectual laziness, deliberate ignorance, and a desire to 'stick it to the man'. And as usual with rebellious ignorance, a whole lot of unnecessary crap occurs while 'the man' remains un-stuck-to and nothing changes.

The Force is what holds everything together. It has its dark side, and it has its light side. It's sort of like cosmic duct tape.