Licensing policy change proposal

Krešimir Čohar kcohar at
Mon Jan 28 13:32:08 GMT 2019

That last email (the legalese thing) was in response to Adriaan's email :D
Sorry Adriaan I've never posted to a mailing list before I still don't know
how to reply properly hahaha

On Mon, Jan 28, 2019 at 2:30 PM Krešimir Čohar <kcohar at> wrote:

> I know... I agree they should have done a better job with the wording, but
> I think we can get them to be more specific about it. And no, we wouldn't
> be violating their license in any circumstance so I think they'd be OK with
> granting CC-0 in these select cases.
> P.S. Debian just ditches all our wallpapers and our sddm theme and puts in
> its own. And thanks for the suggestion - I agree that we should bring in
> someone that speaks legalese on this, they'll know how to proceed.
> On Mon, Jan 28, 2019 at 2:25 PM Adriaan de Groot <groot at> wrote:
>> 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
>> like.
>> 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.
>> [ade]
>> 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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