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Re: Please, no GitHub

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: Please, no GitHub
Date: Sun, 13 Dec 2015 01:51:48 -0500

[[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider    ]]]
[[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
[[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]

  > They exposed **every single** site functionality through the API
  > (in fact, the Web interface itself uses the API to do its
  > business, so it is safe to say that https://github.com/ is no more
  > than one of the several available front-ends for
  > https://api.github.com/) so https://api.github.com/ is satisfying
  > this criteria.

The issue we are concerned with is the site _as users normally access it_.
Non-user interfaces, such as APIs, are a different issue which isn't
the issue here.

  > Their website and API are license-blind.

It's not clear what that means; my guess is you mean that the site
permits the files in the repository to carry any sort of license (or

However, criterion C5 is about what licenses the site _recommends_,
not what it _permits_.  It concerns what the site says to users
about licenses, and what that leads them to do.

GitHub's recommendations lead people to apply their chosen licenses in
ways that are legally unclear and unreliable (for instance, not
stating the license on the source files themselves), and don't mention
the difference between GPL 3-or-later and GPL 3-only, this leading
people to choose the latter without realizing they made a choice.
This fails C5.

Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation (gnu.org, fsf.org)
Internet Hall-of-Famer (internethalloffame.org)
Skype: No way! See stallman.org/skype.html.

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