For me the Open Source movement is a somewhat utopian effort to pool the brilliance and innovation of developers around the world for the benefit of all, instead of just generating profit or inspiring aggressive competition.
Licenses such as MIT, GPL, CC, etc give us the opportunity to build on each others innovations, instead of all simultaneously and independently trying to develop the same rudimentary wheels.
This benevolent endeavor has always inspired me learn and absorb, but also to contribute. It would be no surprise if profitable corporations would seek a way to almost explicitly defend their right to use Open Source for evil.
In the article JSMin Isn’t Welcome on Google Code, Ryan Grove speaks of how he and Douglas Crockford were both asked to remove an addition to their license agreements which read “The Software shall be used for Good, not Evil“.
I can agree that this does introduce a ‘vague use restriction‘ as your interpretation of good and evil may be different to mine, and determining the correct association in court would be impossible, but I find it disappointing that political correctness and legalism make it difficult to protect our work against malicious use.
Legal issues aside, I think here forward, my contributions will also be licensed only for non-evil purposes!
Image courtesy GNUArt.Read More