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rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


You are responsible for the things you create, the fact that you give it away for free doesn't absolve you of that.

If you don't think your work should be used for evil, then you need to exert control over it's use. Any of the standard licenses are woefully inadequate, although GPL3 is at least frightening enough to most companies that they'll look elsewhere first.

This of course assumes that people will follow the law. I don't think I need to detail the reasons that this is a bad assumption.

My solution is this: retain control of your work. Sell it or give it away to whomever you like, but retain control of who uses it. At least make some sort of vague effort to prevent your work from being used in a machine of oppression or murder.

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rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


"I made this high powered space laser and I'll just leave it here on this streetcorner, charged up and ready to go."


"look, it's not my fault some jackass used my high powered space laser to murder a busload of tourists, I put a warning label on it."


this is anyone trying to claim they're not responsible for palantir - or worse - using their code.

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


MononcQc posted:

I'm personally torn on this

i don't understand this. How is "retain control of who uses your work" a difficult concept? If someone you like comes to you and says "hey man can i get those build tools?" you say yes. If someone you hate says the same thing, you say no.

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


MononcQc posted:

This argument however does not distance you from the work you do for pay in your day job

No, it sure doesn't. Don't work for monsters.

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


I really don't get this cultural insistence on producing open source software.

At one point, maybe it was a good idea, I don't really know.

But I do know that what it's turned into is volunteer work for startups and free work for exposure.

Stop writing open source software. Maintain control of your work on your own.

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


MononcQc posted:

It's tied to the overall idea of "no ethical consumption under capitalism". Essentially, if a commodity can be used for evil, it's an argument against producing commodities. If you write a more effective data structure that lets you sort things faster, how are you to know or expect that technical improvements will be used to facilitate genocide, as opposed to just sorting songs in a playlist faster? should you abstain from publishing potential improvements because of the potential for ill use altogether?

You should use your capacity as a human to make these decisions on a case-by-case basis instead of trying to find a single solution for every possible eventuality.

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


MononcQc posted:

What is your responsibility as someone who produced e-mail software but indirectly participated in improving eugenics?


again, this is a question that no one will be able to produce a global answer for and you need to ask yourself these questions and come up with your own answers for any given situation.

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


MononcQc posted:

agreed. Which is why seeing "coffeescript" called out for facilitating concentration camps is kind of loving weird.

i think the issue here is that most of the people on that list are not even making an attempt to control their own work. Whoever controls coffeescript, for instance, has abrogated their responsibility and is incapable of preventing people from using it, even if they wanted to.

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


rotor posted:

i think the issue here is that most of the people on that list are not even making an attempt to control their own work. Whoever controls coffeescript, for instance, has abrogated their responsibility and is incapable of preventing people from using it, even if they wanted to.

whether they want to or not is a moral choice they can make.

But they have deliberately put themselves in a position where they are incapable of acting on that choice, and that's the choice I'm objecting to. It's abrogating your moral responsibility to a software license and it's despicable imo.

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


MononcQc posted:

more hot takes:

licenses are not the right tool for that job; they're copyright assignment.

i didn't explicitly agree with this and i feel like i should so:

I agree with this 100%.

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


quote:

how culpable am I

again, this is a moral judgement everyone needs to make for themself.

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


MrMoo posted:

It’s called intellectual progress, only by standing on the shoulders of giants can one stand taller, everything else in humanity operates in that mindset.

Great, write a book about your discoveries. Give that book away if you want to.

But in the meantime please don't pretend that an opensource reimplementation of facebook is pushing the frontier of human knowledge forward.


quote:

Ad a developer you get paid to develop, not to hodl onto bits and bytes.

And as a human being, you have to consider the implications of your actions.

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


I'm not even saying don't give away the source to your worthless open source bullshit. I'm just saying retain control of it and don't give it to assholes, fascists and murderers.

this seems like the lowest loving bar on earth to me, i don't really understand the objections here

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


MrMoo posted:

Probably because it turns the custodian into a fascist

yes, exerting control over who i sell or share things to is definitely fascism, very insightful, mmm, yes.

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


that time when I worked at the print shop and wouldn't make copies of aborted fetuses for the local antiabortion crank definitely made me a fascist.

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


lancemantis posted:

this is just good old trying to solve a political problem with a technical solution aka dumb poo poo

exactly. The license will never enforce morality for you. So abandon the license and enforce it yourself, because you're the only person who can.

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


Share Bear posted:

Is it legally enforceable, assuming you open source stuff you made (and to rotor's point, that you might have made a mistake doing so), to say "Everyone can use this except for these entities"

As far as I know, and in the US, yes. You can put whatever you want in a license. As long as you're not discriminating against a federally protected class (ie "jews may not use my software") its fine.

Now whether you can append stuff after the fact I don't know and probably depends on a lot of things.

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


idk if i was clear or not but i think the person on twitters idea for a "no human rights abuses" license is dumb but I'm glad to see the list online of code that enables child prisons, maybe people will start think of how to deal with this problem.

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


MononcQc posted:

just how much responsibility are you willing to take for the inhuman horrors unethical actors can unleash with the help of your code, which was mainly expected to be terrible and nothing more?

I think this is the wrong question. I think the right question is: what are you willing and capable of doing when you find your code being used by unethical actors to unleash inhuman horrors.

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


lancemantis posted:

do you really want to know the answer to either part of that question?

Given that i retain copyright to all source code I've released on my own behalf, I know what I would do. I can and would revoke their rights to use it.

I can do that because I didn't just give it away and say "whatever, i don't care who uses this or how, and here's a legal document to that effect, never bother me again"

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


I mean in the interests of full disclosure no one to my knowledge actually uses that code. Which is fine, I don't give a poo poo if people chose to avail themselves of my volunteer labor or not.

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


lancemantis posted:

i guess my implication there is, circularly, if you were to ask the question and find out that someone is using it for terrible ends, and I guess you know your answer to someone doing that, for which their retort is "whos going to stop me?", would you have ever wanted to know in the first place?

i'm honestly not sure what the question here is.

Would I want to know if someone awful was using my work? Absolutely

Would I go to court to stop them? I suppose that would depend on a lot of things, such as whether i had the time & money to do so

Would I prefer to remain ignorant that my code was being used to electrocute children or whatever? Hell no.

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


lancemantis posted:

I guess I'm just a person that's lost a lot of faith in institutions so maybe my thought patterns come off as weird

like are you trying to say that I might not be able to enforce a EULA against ChildPrisons LLC?

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts



if you think that would be the case then don't give away your code.

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


lancemantis posted:

Yeah but I don't find not doing anything to be an especially satisfying way to live life

Yeah, I get that. If you can't give away your source code to anyone who asks for it, without regard to who they are, why even bother being alive?

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


lancemantis posted:

i mean we live in a world where states straw purchase drugs for lethal injections, companies engage in illegal behavior and people aren't even aware of it much less care about it

its pretty bleak and i'm pretty cynical

it's very bleak but being cynical is not helping. There are small things we can all do to effect change.

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


yeah I mentioned it in irc and I'll repro it here:

I think everyone is focused on preventing bad poo poo before the fact and that seems like an unreachable goal.

I think the important, workable goal is to provide remediation after the fact.

Like I don't care a lot about giving away source code. Go nuts. I just want people to retain the power to take back the source code if it turns out John Q Babystrangler is using it in his baby strangling business.

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


i mean assuming that you're not cool with strangling babies

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


Gazpacho posted:

what if the baby is hitler

ok settle down jeb

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


CRIP EATIN BREAD posted:

has anyone noticed the irony

nope

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


PCjr sidecar posted:

i think part of what i have trouble with is that individual oss devs would not necessarily align with what we’d consider ethical

consider the ‘angry at immigrants’ license: https://www.treefinder.de/

I mean this is just humans. The idea that we'd all hew to some higher standard of ethical behavior is sort of lol. We can barely get our filesystem guys to not kill their wives.

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


akadajet posted:

abolish ice. also, npm.

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


akadajet posted:

the only thing I've seen that's worse than npm was bower but that's a really high bar to reach.

goddamn bower was so fuckin dumb

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


Progressive JPEG posted:

something that icebreaker.dev site linked to was a nonprofit Corporate Accountability Lab who had written a pair of licenses of their own (one for software, the other for general works), with the bonus of having actual lawyers involved in the process of constructing them

I think this is pretty good.

edit: but agreed, it seems a lot more like a eula

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


no one wants to talk about a eula because there's basically no machinery to handle eulas in common dev workflows.

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


honestly though i think that the idea of open source has passed its useful stage and has just become free work for exposure. So my real response is simply "stop writing open source software."

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


I think getting a good license up front is good but I think a clause that the author retains the right to deny use to anyone at any time is the only practical way to actually avoid having your code used for unethical purposes.

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


lancemantis posted:

i have bad news

Its basically impossible to prevent people from actively stealing your code and knowing they're stealing it. But making a lawyer say "we're not legally allowed to use this" is an 80% solution.

rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


Captain Foo posted:

though I'll admit I'm not that familiar with this

yeah i'd like to hear more about this

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rotor
Jun 11, 2001

Official Carrier
of the Neil Bush Torch

 
 
 
 
teh butts


suffix posted:

an ethical person would not use your library in their program

if someone won't use my code because they're worried that I'd yank their rights to use my library because of their ethical stance then I think the system works.

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