Licensing policy change proposal

Adriaan de Groot groot at
Mon Jan 28 13:24:29 GMT 2019

On Monday, 28 January 2019 13:23:36 CET Krešimir Čohar wrote:
> Why not? As far as Unsplash goes, their only restriction is not to start a
> competing service, which is not even remotely what we are trying to do.
> Surely that is a reasonable and acceptable restriction. It's not unlike the
> copyleft restrictions ("freedoms") of the GPL.

Here's the thing: we ship Free Software. More-or-less-equivalently, we ship 
things licensed under an Open Source license. And *that* in turn basically 
means "is it OSI listed".

That's a short-and-bureaucratic kind of answer, which I don't particularly 

A related thing: if we ship something, and *downstream* doesn't like it, then 
either they patch it out, or they don't ship our stuff. It's important to ask 
downstreams specifically what they think, when we're re-shipping something from 
upstream under an unexpected license. Debian is one of the most particular of 
our downstreams, so we'd definitely want to check with them.

A related thing: FOSDEM is this weekend, when we have the KDE licensing 
people, Debian, and a room full of lawyers all in one place (-ish). That's 
probably a good moment to inquire.


PS. The license seems a bit inconsistent to me: first it grants a very broad 
license and then carves out a specific exception (field of endeavour). It would 
be more tidy if it started with "EXCEPT AS LISTED BELOW (field of endeavour), 
Unsplash grants you ..". It may be feasible to get a specific (i.e. CC-0) 
license applied by Unsplash to these specific (how many, six?) photos, since 
it's unlikely that you can start a competing service with just six photos.
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