Opened 3 years ago

Closed 21 months ago

#22685 closed defect (implemented)

policy for acceptable licenses from contributors

Reported by: catalyst Owned by: nickm
Priority: Medium Milestone: Tor: 0.3.4.x-final
Component: Core Tor/Tor Version:
Severity: Normal Keywords: 034-triage-20180328, 034-must, policy
Cc: Actual Points:
Parent ID: #26085 Points:
Reviewer: Sponsor:


We should have a policy statement about what licenses we will accept for contributions to Core Tor. Maybe it should go into or similar.

It seems like we currently want BSD-licensed code (3-clause?) and maybe don't want copylefted stuff?

Maybe also clarify that patches to an existing file are assumed to be copyright-assigned to us or licensed under the same license as the original file.

Bonus points if there's a well-written rationale for our licensing choices. (But maybe that should be a separate ticket.)

Child Tickets

Change History (11)

comment:1 Changed 3 years ago by nickm

Basically, I'm okay with 3-clause BSD or anything more permissive.

I have no philosophical objection to copylefted stuff in general, but I am not okay with changing the terms under which we distribute Tor.

comment:2 Changed 2 years ago by nickm

Milestone: Tor: 0.3.2.x-finalTor: 0.3.3.x-final

comment:3 Changed 2 years ago by dgoulet

Milestone: Tor: 0.3.3.x-finalTor: 0.3.4.x-final

Moving a bunch of tickets from 033 to 034.

comment:4 Changed 22 months ago by nickm

Keywords: 034-triage-20180328 added

comment:5 Changed 22 months ago by nickm

Keywords: 034-removed-20180328 added

Per our triage process, these tickets are pending removal from 0.3.4.

comment:6 Changed 22 months ago by nickm

Keywords: 034-must policy added; 034-removed-20180328 removed

comment:7 Changed 22 months ago by nickm

Owner: set to nickm
Status: newaccepted

comment:8 Changed 21 months ago by nickm

Parent ID: #26085

comment:9 Changed 21 months ago by nickm

Status: acceptedneeds_review

Parent is now in needs_review

comment:10 Changed 21 months ago by arma

I think the parent (#26085) will do what this ticket is wanting.

As for the rationale for why we chose 3-clause bsd: in my opinion there are two scenarios that free software licenses are helpful for: (1) if there are no tools that do what you want, and your goal is to maximize the chances that some tool comes into existence to do what you want, use 3-clause bsd. Whereas (2) if the world already has some tools that do what you want, and your goal is to maximize the chances that the best one is free software, use gpl.

Our general outlook for Tor is that we're still in scenario one: our world's main challenge is that there aren't enough tools for good metadata security, full stop, rather than that there are some tools for good metadata security but the best ones aren't free.

comment:11 Changed 21 months ago by nickm

Resolution: implemented
Status: needs_reviewclosed

Parent merged to master.

IMO a license rationale is out of scope for this ticket: I also like 3BSD for Tor, but not necessarily for the same reasons anybody else does. :)

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