[ocaml-infra] ocaml.org licensing

Florent Monnier monnier.florent at gmail.com
Mon Feb 10 23:21:07 GMT 2014

2014-02-10 15:20 UTC+01:00, Ashish Agarwal 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].

I would suggest to replace by:
(A) Content is released under CC BY-SA version 4.0 or above

So that when the maintainers of the website want to upgrade the
CC-by-sa license to a newer version, they don't have to ask to all the

> (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.

I would suggest to replace the word "design" by "style guide" or
"style manual", because for French speaking people it's quite
ambiguous, and we don't know if "design" also include pieces of CSS
code that could be reused without any visual similarities.

Also what about people willing to just archive the website, like for
example every link on the French Wikipedia was a cached archive.

Another case, what about people willing to reuse the current "design"
of ocam.org far long time after ocaml.org doesn't use this current
visual style anymore? you know like all the fan website of nostalgics.
Currently copyright extends to 70 years, what don't just reduce it to
10 years after ocaml.org don't use this current visual style anymore?

> (E) OCaml logo is released under the UNLICENSE [3].

The UNLICENSE license is a licence for softwares.
A logo is not a software.
I would suggest to replace in the text of the UNLICENSE license the
word "software" by "piece of work" or something similar which would be
more relevant (the English language is not my born language, so please
correct this rewording if it should.)

> (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
> (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

It would be nice too if the rephrase "software" by "piece of work"
would also be made for licenses applying on the code, so that when
someone makes a piece of work that includes at the same time code,
graphics and music everything could be licensed under the same
conditions in an uniformly way which would not introduce
hierarchisation in the different kind of works.

Anyway very nice proposal,
good luck!


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