Reciprocity is a deep core organising principle of the social condition. I think of MIT and Apache2 as anti-social licenses, not bad, just not social enough for me.

They're not trying to build a better society, or encourage a relationship between user and maker.


Instead it's the software license equivalent of putting your old couch on the sidewalk with a "free, please take me" sign. It's good, for what it wants to achieve. Which is to make sure there is no relationship between giver and taker (which is social-liberalism btw).

Unfortunately, software of the scale of Chrome and of this importance is not a free couch. It's a free bus service. It's infrastructure that needs a properly thought out political settlement, an ongoing transfer of resources is needed between those that benefit from the work, and the people who make sure that infrastructure is maintained. Google's dodge is to use a tax by attention, to subvert the security and yes, freedom to extract resources to maintain it. You may not feel taxed, but you are.

@doctormo @theruran I forget which report but github published an interesting finding about the lineage of licenses.

They found that a majority of new GPL projects started as MIT.

Anecdotally I’ve found MIT to be much easier for publishing the findings of research.

@doctormo as someone who almost always uses MIT or less in projects of mine, this is... a fair take.

I like sharing information for those that want it, and will almost always respond to people reaching out to me about those projects, but I don't have the time/money/energy/resources/personality/etc to grow a community around them. And, I don't see any of my projects having much, if any, social impact. I do esoteric Music and DSP software. At best, maybe a "huh. that's a bit nifty isn't it?".

If this ever changes for me, I may reevaluate.

@paul Don't blame you, community is hard work Paul.

I've put work out into the public domain, and I'm likely to do so again. It's never an either or.

@doctormo @paul it may look obvious, but what about aGPL licenses?
Yess they are not more social than mit / apache, but at least you can't close down what you develop around the original source code ;)

@vincib @paul my point was that AGPL *is* more social than MIT/Apache. The intention of the code is collaboration, not just release.

@doctormo I use public domain when I can because I believe that the entire concept of copyright applying to software is fundamentally antisocial. It's either an accident of history or the result of corporate interference in government, depending on your perspective. Software copyrights are bad and I won't voluntarily apply a license that weaponizes them.


I don't deny that Copyright has some serious issues, and shouldn't really exist in an ideal world.

But we are social creatures and we operate with social contracts. Tons of them every day. Copyright is no different from any other social contract and should be renegotiated, not calcified or vilified insensibly.

If your suggestion is that social contracts are bad, then you misunderstand why politics exists.

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