Changing the Terms Of Service: User content license

Currently the Terms of Service state:

3. User Content License

User contributions are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Without limiting any of those representations or warranties, JuliaLang has the right (though not the obligation) to, in JuliaLang’s sole discretion (i) refuse or remove any content that, in JuliaLang’s reasonable opinion, violates any JuliaLang policy or is in any way harmful or objectionable, or (ii) terminate or deny access to and use of the Website to any individual or entity for any reason, in JuliaLang’s sole discretion. JuliaLang will have no obligation to provide a refund of any amounts previously paid.

It has been brought up recently and in the past that CC-BY-NC-SA is counter to the expectation of the community. Most of the ecosystem uses the MIT licence.

I propose to change the TOS at the end of the month to state:

3. User Content License

User contributions up until and including the 28th of February 2020 are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. User contributions after the 28th of February 2020 (UTC-05:00) are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 License. Source-code user contributions after the 28th of February 2020 (UTC-05:00) are additionally licensed under an MIT License.
Without limiting any of those representations or warranties, JuliaLang has the right (though not the obligation) to, in JuliaLang’s sole discretion (i) refuse or remove any content that, in JuliaLang’s reasonable opinion, violates any JuliaLang policy or is in any way harmful or objectionable, or (ii) terminate or deny access to and use of the Website to any individual or entity for any reason, in JuliaLang’s sole discretion. JuliaLang will have no obligation to provide a refund of any amounts previously paid.

What changes

  • Code is dual licensed under MIT and CC-BY-SA
  • Text/Images/Etc. are licensed under CC-BY-SA

I believe this change reflects more accurately the values our community holds:

  1. Share information freely
  2. Attribution

Why the dual licensing for code? CC-BY-SA (or any CC license) is not a recommended as a license for code (see https://creativecommons.org/faq/#can-i-apply-a-creative-commons-license-to-software) and MIT is the license most commonly used for Julia code.

Let me know what you think. I currently plan to make this switch at the end of next week.

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CC-BY would be closer in spirit to MIT. Just a thought.

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How so? MIT requires including the same license, thereby giving others the same rights as were received. BY-CC does not have such a requirement whereas BY-CC-SA does.

I thought that the SA is a “viral” term, i.e. that derivate work also needs to be SA, so more akin to say the GPL. This is what wikipedia suggests https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Share-alike. Anyway, I don’t think it matters much (as the code is MIT). +1 to the ToS changes, irrespective.

1 Like

more like
JuliaLang, at its sole discretion, may (i) refuse or remove content that it deems to violate written or unwritten JuliaLang policy (ii) refuse or remove content that it deems to be in any way harmful or objectionable, or (ii) restrict, terminate or deny access to or use of the Website to any individual or entity for any reason.

[and something about all users of the Website hold JuliaLang harmless … no obligation to nor expectation of any monetary or other economic …]

The change is now live. With the slight change that the cutoff date is now March 6th, since I forgotten about it last week.

4 Likes

Couple questions:

  1. I assume this (being in meta) refers to the Discourse forums?
  2. Is there an easy-ish way for a user to apply the new license (if desired) to previously contributed source in our comments?
  1. Yes

  2. State in your code snippet as a comment that you release this code under the MIT License.

1 Like