[hackmeeting] Fwd: License To Chill -- Hackers Hamstring Rights Violators

merce en grn.es merce en grn.es
Mar Nov 26 16:47:03 CET 2002


License To Chill -- Hackers Hamstring Rights Violators

===8<==============Original message text===============

SUMMARY: International hacker organization issues software license that 
allows the group or its licensees to take human rights violators to court.


CROSSHAIRS: This story is important for anyone interested in hacking, human 
rights, information security, open-source software, Internet censorship, 
international law, international politics, or technology transfer.

http://hacktivismo.com : :

LUBBOCK, TX, November 25 -- Hacktivismo, an international group of hackers 
and human rights activists, today issued the Hacktivismo Enhanced-Source 
Software License Agreement (HESSLA). The license offers open-source 
transparency, enhanced by legal remedies both for Hacktivismo, as licensor, 
and for end-users.

"The Hacktivismo Enhanced-Source Software License Agreement marks the first 
time technology transfer has been linked to protecting human rights," said 
Oxblood Ruffin, founder of Hacktivismo. "Our clients and end-users aren't 
building the firewalls to keep democracy out. They're locked inside trying 
to break free."

In contrast with more-traditional "free" or "open-source" software 
licenses, The HESSLA contains some novel terms unique to the history of 
information technology. These enhanced terms are designed to promote a 
broad range of human rights worldwide, as well as to empower end-users to 
seek new and additional remedies against human-rights violations by 
governments and governmental officials.

"Hacktivismo has sought to preserve, to the maximum degree, the primary 
advantages of 'free' and 'open-source' software," said Eric Grimm, an 
attorney with CyberBrief, PLC, who assisted Hacktivismo with drafting the 
license. "These advantages include ease of customization, the ability of 
any end-user to redistribute the software to friends and colleagues without 
paying any license fees, transparency, and enabling collaboration among 
volunteer and commercial developers worldwide."

The license enables both Hacktivismo and its end-users to go to court if 
someone tries to use the software in a malicious manner, or to introduce 
harmful changes into the software. It also contains more robust language 
than has previously been used to maximize enforcement against governments 
around the world. The HESSLA explicitly prohibits anybody from introducing 
"spy-ware, surveillance technology, or other undesirable code into modified 
versions of HESSLA-licensed programs. Additionally, the license prohibits 
any use of the software by any government that has any policy or practice 
of violating human rights.

The most novel innovation in the license distributes enforcement power 
instead of concentrating it in Hacktivismo's hands. If a private citizen 
happens to violate the license, then Hacktivismo is in charge of 
enforcement. But the situation is different if the violation is by a 
government or a governmental official. When Governments subvert human 
rights, and try to use Hactivismo-licensed software as part of any aspect 
of such a project, then the license empowers end-users act as enforcers too.

===8<===========End of original message text===========

Más información sobre la lista de distribución HackMeeting