[cc-community] [cc-licenses] human rights license
rob at robmyers.org
rob at robmyers.org
Thu Dec 1 06:14:55 EST 2005
This really should be on cc-community. I've cross-posted it.
Quoting phyllostachys nuda <phnuda at yahoo.com>:
> Who decides what is ethical: Anyone can decide a starting set of
> rules. Others will expand the list in the future in various other
> licenses. They can steal ideas from human rights law, such as the
> Geneva Conventions, etc.
But the UN Declaration of Human Rights is itself complex and requires
interpretation. Piecemeal introduction of ideas from it into another ethical
system will not make that system any more rigorous.
As for anyone deciding a starting set of rules, various extremist
groups have a
fairly different idea of what is ethical from you or I. Some of them may write
good code (or, to drag this remotely back on list topic, produce good
illustrations or music). They can deny us use of their work because we
it for ends *they* regard as non-ethical.
Whereas if we make the only freedom the license is concerned with the
create, we are all at least free to create in the pursuit of our own social
> Who would use it: Everyone can decide for themselves to use it or
> not, just like when GPL etc first started out. It doesn't matter if a
> ton of people don't use it.
But it does matter if it is ultimately self-defeating.
> Its not free: Irrelevant. The GPL is not totally 'free',
It protects the freedom it is designed to. Don't confuse liberty with
a free lunch.
> nor are certain versions of Creative Commons. That doesn't make them
> bad licenses.
ND and NC may be regarded as ethical constraints. ND protects the author's
unique voice, NC protects their ability not to starve. Both restrict creative
The GPL (and BY-SA) protect the freedom to create by removing the
freedom to use
the work they cover from people who refuse to protect that freedom.
This is what
I mean by these licenses being reflexive. An "ethical" license removes the
freedom to use work for other reasons. Which is very different and opens a
Pandora's box of possible reasons and motivations which have nothing to
creativity and in fact prevent people from being able to create.
> What exactly would be ethical:
> How about this for starters
> 1. 'this code shall not be used, in whole or in part, in any
> software or hardware system that is used for torturing prisoners or
OK. But your license doesn't cover Guatanamo Bay, where enemy combatants are
being interrogated. Or the use of your work in biological or quantum torture
systems. Or for the torture of civilians attacked in their homes.
> 2. 'this code shall not be used, in whole or in part, in any
> software or hardware guidance system for any missile or artillery
> projectile system whose purpose is the delivery of biological,
> chemical, or nuclear weapons'
What about energy weapons to induce pain? Or nanotechnological weapons?
phosphorous, or napalm, or fuel-air explosive? Or laser blinding weapons?
Or bullets for that matter.
> Mongo and Chaco prove it won't work: This is only one case study and
> it is not convincing. We have the word of a single person as to what
Which part of their description do you have evidence is false?
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