> On 16 Jun 2020, at 15:01, Tobias Frost <t...@debian.org> wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 16, 2020 at 09:28:05AM +0100, Michael Tremer wrote:
> (...)
>> I consider myself a great advocate for free software. Almost everything I do,
>> and certain all I can, is free software - available for anyone to use.
> Let me nitpick on that Free software also requires the ability to modify and
> distribute the modified work…
>> We have spent a lot of time on this and we do not want another Maxmind. I am
>> not trying to make money with this project, but nobody else should be making
>> that money either.
> Being "gratis" is stricly not a requirement for FLOSS*, but being "libre" is,
> and the 4 software freedoms encourage to allow usage for "any purpose", 
> including
> commercial use. So, IMHO, this two paragraphs are somehow conflating gratis
> with libre. (Additionally CC-BY-SA does not have a commercial-usage 
> restriction,
> as some said already in this thread)
> * for example, there are some projects (in the Android App world) that sells
> the app in the offical store but have the sourcecode available to compile
> yourself on a public repository)

Yes, I am aware of that. As mentioned before, it would be nice to guard our own 
project from people that take advantage of us. I do not want to limit the use 
of the database for legitimate users.

>> Since this is only a license - and people seem to rather ignore than follow
>> these - there is no guarantee for us that someone does things that we do not
>> want them to do. But in the end I have to protect my project and the other
>> people working on this so that we can continue doing this.
>> I do not want this to be non-free, but I hope my point makes at least some
>> sense.
> if you want it to be (DSFG)-free, please choose one of the approved licenses.
> But I fear that your expectations are different: A (DFSG-)free license must
> not limit commercial use in any way, for example…

I do not want to limit commercial use. I want to make sure that our project can 
continue to exist.

>>>> * it would be nice to encourage users to give back to the project and help
>>>> them to help us to improve the data wherever possible
>>> Such encouragements should be part of, e.g., a README file, but not part of
>>> a license. *Forcing* users to contribute back would likewise make a license
>>> non-free for Debian usage (since that would fail the Desert Island test).
>> Sorry for my noob question, but doesn’t the GPL “force” people to give back?
> No, it does not. We had some discussion about a different license that crossed
> this topic lately: https://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2020/04/msg00016.html
> TL;DR: You only need to offer your modifications to _your_ recipients of the
> work, not to whom you received it from.
>>> Fortunately, you said "encourage", so that would be optional and hence
>>> good. I'm just pointing out that even ideas with good intentions (naturally
>>> improving a database is a plus for any user) can lead to software or data
>>> becoming non-free.
>> A license is just letters on some paper. I had my own software copied too
>> often by too many people with bad intentions and I could not do anything
>> about it without throwing more money and time down the drain.
> There is this famous "use if for good not evil"-Json-license … disaster? …
> A true free software must even allow usage for evil purposes, not even 
> touching
> the question who defines "evil"?
>> So, I guess we can conclude that the CC BY-SA 4.0 option is definitely
>> something that we would drop. Simply for that reason that it is too
>> complicated.
> Chooose any license you find suitable. Best from 
> https://wiki.debian.org/DFSGLicenses
> Some people will disagree on some license being listed here*, but this is 
> kind of
> official position of the project. (there are sometime more factors than a
> license to consider something free software) The only strong advice I would
> like to give is "Don't invent your own licence."
> *For instance, I'm not in the CC-4.0-is-non-free camp, but I would love to
> learn about the objections…

I went through that list, and the CC licenses catch my eye. We are definitely 
out of the MIT and BSD license territory (if they are even applicable to data).

I have re-read this thread and must say that I understood the first comments as 
“under no circumstances use CC BY-SA 4.0”. Now I rather understand them as “I 
would prefer otherwise”.

I understand that licenses only limit use, and never grant anything more than 
what public domain would do, but that is exactly what we want to do here.

Unless someone has another suggestion that has any advantages, I would consider 
again to stay with CC BY-SA 4.0.

It first of all is DFSG-compliant, and is pretty much the default license for 
content like our database. The license is well-known and generally accepted. 
Debian’s policies are probably some of the more strict ones, and if we can 
avoid non-free, then this should hold true for other distributions, too.

Even for commercial purposes, we get credit and the license cannot be 
downgraded. I think that is a limitation that is good enough for me and at the 
same time does not infringe freedom of our users too much.

The downsides of CC BY-SA 4.0 being complicated is something that CC will 
hopefully sort out at that point. I am not a lawyer and - as you can see - have 
very limited understanding of the whole topic. I have checked licenses if they 
are working for me, but never really had to pick one for something that isn’t 
code and where I could potentially render my work unusable for other people.

At a later point, we can hopefully upgrade to an improved version 5.0 if that 
is necessary and most importantly compatible.

Thank you all again for taking your time. I do not want to take up too much of 
it, but of course value all your feedback.


>> I always assumed that any of the GPL licenses won’t be applicable to data
>> (and only code). Can maybe brings some light into the dark for me?
> Many people believe that can be applied to data as well, incl. the FSF [1].
> /me has e.g released CAD models [2] using the GPL, but I explicitly
> clarified that I consider this covered, no idea if that would be actual
> needed, though. IANAL.
> [1] https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.en.html#GPLOtherThanSoftware
> [2] e.g 
> https://github.com/coldtobi/tobis_cl260_modifications/blob/master/Z-Axis/README.md
> -- 
> tobi

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