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Ethical-source Movement Opens New Open-source Organization


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Logo of the Organization for Ethical Source.

A new nonprofit group, the Organization for Ethical Source, is devoted to the idea that the free software and open-source concept of "Freedom Zero" are outdated.

Credit: Organization for Ethical Source

Ethical-source licenses, such as the Hippocratic License, have not been widely adopted. True, the Contributor Covenant, the first and most popular open-source project code of conduct has had success -- it was adopted by the Linux kernel developers, but actual code ethical-source licenses have had a hard row to hoe. Today, seeking more users, there's a new nonprofit group, the Organization for Ethical Source (OES).

Founded by the ethical-source leader and creator of the Hippocratic License and Contributor Covenant Coraline Ada Ehmke, the OES is devoted to the idea that the free software and open-source concept of "Freedom Zero" are outdated. Freedom Zero is "the freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose." It's fundamental to how open-source software is made and used.

It's that last part that vexes Ehmke and supporters. That's because they hate the notion that open-source software can be used for any purpose including "evil" purposes. The group states: 

The world has changed since the Open Source Definition was created—open source has become ubiquitous, and is now being leveraged by bad actors for mass surveillance, racist policing, and other human rights abuses all over the world. The OES believes that the open-source community must evolve to address the magnitude and complexity of today's social, political, and technological challenges.

 

From ZDnet
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