[ocaml-infra] [Caml-list] ocaml.org licensing

Anil Madhavapeddy anil at recoil.org
Mon Feb 10 14:40:04 GMT 2014

Thanks for summarising all of this Ashish.  I'm very happy with all of this, including the use of the UNLICENSE.  We've had no real issues with releasing the Real World OCaml examples under this license.

My only substantive comment is perhaps point D), regarding the copying of ocaml.org.  We should probably make it sufficiently permissive to allow people to build their own forks of ocaml.org, which would currently be forbidden under the terms described below.  Perhaps a clarification (somehow) or restriction (non-commercial use?) would suffice here without confusing matters too much.

On 10 Feb 2014, at 14:20, Ashish Agarwal <agarwal1975 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear all,
> The content and implementation of the OCaml.org website do not have licenses specified, which should be fixed. Our goal is to encourage contributions, give appropriate credit to contributors, and maximize the utility of the website for the entire OCaml community. We would like the community’s feedback on the following proposal:
> (A) Content is released under CC BY-SA 4.0 [1].
> (B) Code that implements the site is released under the ISC license [2].
> (C) Code examples within content are released under the UNLICENSE [3].
> (D) Design of the site. All rights reserved by the OCaml.org project.
> (E) OCaml logo is released under the UNLICENSE [3].
> (F) Abstracts, slides from meetings. Rights retained by contributor.
> Here is our reasoning for each of the above:
> (A) Content refers to text that is visible by readers at http://ocaml.org (except for code; see (C) below). We'd like others to be able to use these materials but we don't want to create a situation where content that is freely given to the community (which amounts to a substantive volume of work) is then taken and monetized without giving back.
> The CC BY-SA 4.0 license [1] allows anyone to share and adapt the work, including for commercial gain, as long as that work is also released under the same (or compatible) license. This means that commercial works could be produced but free versions would also have to be made available. Thus, the community wouldn't lose out on any derivative work.
> (B) Code that implements ocaml.org. We want the code implementing the site to be open source and available for others to use as they wish. Examples of this include the files found under the 'script' folder of the repository [6]. The ISC licence [2] has already been chosen for OMD and MPP, two libraries that OCaml.org relies on substantially. Additional scripts are not particularly complex in nature, and we feel their use should not be restricted.
> (C) Code examples within content. For example, you can see many of these on the 99 problems page [5]. These are typically small pieces of useful code and we want people to be able to use them however they see fit. We want to do this without the burden of attribution that an open source license (e.g. ISC) would require, so placing them in the public domain seems like the sensible thing to do. The UNLICENSE [3] is one way of putting works in the public domain and is how code examples in Real World OCaml are released [4].
> (D) Design of the site. This is essentially the CSS, banner image, and custom logos (except the OCaml logo, see (E) below). The design uniquely identifies ocaml.org, and it would be awkward if another site looked similar. It seems sensible to reserve all rights over the design and disallow copying it in any form.
> (E) The new OCaml logo [7], which you see in the top-left of ocaml.org, should be encouraged. We hope this can be a unifying symbol of all things related to OCaml. Everyone should use this logo in their OCaml blogs, websites, documentation, presentations, T-shirts, stickers, etc. Thus, it should be usable freely by all, which can be achieved by releasing it under the UNLICENSE.
> (F) OCaml.org also hosts abstracts and slides for various meetings, such as the OCaml Users and Developers Workshop. Contributors should retain all rights over those works or be subject to whatever agreement they have with the respective meeting. They are not considered part of the Content as defined in (A).
> [1] http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/
> [2] http://opensource.org/licenses/ISC
> [3] http://unlicense.org
> [4] https://github.com/realworldocaml/examples/blob/master/UNLICENSE
> [5] http://ocaml.org/learn/tutorials/99problems.html
> [6] https://github.com/ocaml/ocaml.org
> [7] http://ocaml.org/img/ocaml.png

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