Licensing policy change proposal

Mirko Boehm (KDE) mirko at
Mon Jan 28 22:38:33 GMT 2019


> On 28. Jan 2019, at 13:23, Krešimir Čohar <kcohar at> wrote:
> I don't think there are any problems with using public domain images, and even if there were I'd rather view them as challenges to overcome than obstacles to avoid.

This is not necessarily a question of what we think. This is a question of what we as a community can and should distribute. For that, we need at least explicit permission from the author, as in a FOSS license. There has been a very long debate on the use of public domain works in FOSS, and the summary AFAIK is “it is complicated” and “it depends on the jurisdiction”. A great summary can be found here: <> "an open source user or developer cannot safely include public domain source code in a project."	

> > These are both non-free licences and we can not ship files which can
> only be copied with their restrictions.
> 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.

Because we are a free software community.

I think we need to untangle the discussion:

The Unsplash license looks like a FOSS license to me.
The Pexel license is clearly not a free software license as it comes with other restrictions.
The CC0 and other public domain licenses bring in complexity without a clear benefit.


Mirko Boehm | mirko at | KDE e.V.
FSFE Team Germany
Qt Certified Specialist and Trainer
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