Licence for Hackspace Foundation resources


#1

The Hackspace Foundation Resources is currently under a creative commons non commercial licence.

I have noticed that some Hackspaces licence their wiki/web pages under a more free culture licence.

So I raised the issue#13 on the repository. I’ve transcribed/copied the topics here. We would like the communities opinion on this.

For Change

Currently it is CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0
My issue is the Non-commercial clause because:

  • It makes it incompatible with wikipedia licence
  • It makes it incompatible with software licences normally used in hackspaces such as FLOSS (I know it is different, but it muddles things up)
  • If say, a member Hackspace would want to bundle it up in a had copy book and sell it in a market fair to benefit their members they could not because of the licence. OK we would have to ask for permission but there is the Grace Hopper motto “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.”
  • If the concern is for someone to pinch the whole document and then post it on the big distributors to be sold as an ebook we could swap to G-FDL which has an anti-DRM clause and major distributors currently use DRM.
  • It is not a free culture licence which I believe goes in line with the general hackspace ethos.

For staying as it is

It makes it incompatible with wikipedia licence

This isn’t wikipedia.

It makes it incompatible with software licences

This isn’t software.

If say, a member Hackspace would want to bundle it up in a had copy book and sell it in a market fair to benefit their members they could not because of the licence

Having a non commercial license basically says that others can’t profit or make monetary gain from other people’s work. That’s likely the intention (to prevent that happening). I wouldn’t want someone getting monetary gain from my work when I would give the work to them freely.

If the concern is for someone to pinch the whole document and then post it on the big distributors to be sold as an ebook we could swap to G-FDL which has an anti-DRM clause

That’s not the same, though?

It is not a free culture licence which I believe goes in line with the general hackspace ethos

That allows commercial use, I haven’t really seen anything saying that the general hackspace ethos was pro commercial, I’ve only seen hackspaces ethos be commercial tolerant.


First UK Hackspace Foundation V2 meetup
First UK Hackspace Foundation V2 meetup
#2

My general thought whenever choosing a license is to go for the most permissible that is acceptable.

So the question changes from “should we allow commercial use?” to “why should we restrict commercial use?”

I can’t think of any good reason to limit commerical use (but I have a shocking imagination!) - even if someone profits commercial off something that has been written/built by a hackspace, it is unlikely that it would be a competitor to a hackspace.

J


#3

Isn’t that exactly what it is being though? I don’t understand this train of thought. If something is produced, and its intention is that it is financially accessible (that is one reason why people start a hackspace in the first place and go to the ‘pay as you feel’ model) why would it then be acceptable for a commercial entity to then take the work and effort that’s gone into something and profit from it. Competition is then created by the fact that someone whom is prepared to pay for it decides to support the commercial entity by funding it, even though it didn’t create the content that it’s profiting from.

To me that is the exact situation of competition and why licenses are created to protect situations like that from happening. If you’re saying “anyone’s free to copy and use it however you wish” then why have a license at all?

This also appears to be contradictory considering the uproar from trademarking the term ‘makerspace’ and the consideration of trademarking ‘hackerspace’ or ‘hackspace’ and the commercial objection that no-one should own those terms either, yet we’re not saying to pick up those terms and protect them in a way of a similar license, but we’re not happy for a commercial entity to profit from them and own them?

We’re drawing some very inconsistent lines of ownership. Meanwhile, others are happily taking claim to them, commercially.

I wonder if this makes sense to anyone else.


#4

I think I understand where you are coming from: even though Trade Mark and copyright are different things I see the link you are drawing.
Trademarking was discussed in the forum at least one other time.. Unsure what the conclusion was but I understood: “it is not worth anybodies time and money to trademark”.

I don’t believe “anyone’s free to copy and use it however you wish” is an option being discussed here. In my humble opinion we would still be asking for attribution and share alike. So if they sell it, the end user can still copy it and share it with their friends for no profit.

Another point I did not mention above. On the Hackspace definition we say we are supporting STEAM. Making things non-commercial to me is like going to school, or uni or hackspace another learning environment and being told: “you can learn this but you cannot use it if later, down the line you plan to use this knowledge to gain some money for your food and housing.” . Maybe this is what I meant with free culture and general hackspace ethos.

I would have imagined the resources could contain things as code snippets for setting up good user management and arduino code for accessing the space. And most hackspaces normally share their code, manuals and designs under a free culture licence with “share alike” clause meaning if we are going to use some of these examples (to not reinvent the wheel) we would need to keep to a similar licence. Or going through the trouble of making sure each part as an adequate licence.


#5

I think you’re slightly clutching at straws here. We can, I believe, explicitly allow re-use of code snippets (stackoverflow for example, explicitly states that re-use of answers does not require attribution…). Also the section we are discussing is the resources manual, if we make re-usable / example software, (separate repo), that should have its own licence.

On the other hand, this repo is offered explicitly for re-use, so we’re expecting people to take chunks of it…

I did some research, and somewhat agree with this statement:

From an objective standpoint, the selection of an NC licence is only appropriate if there are realistic prospects that commercial users will pay to use the material. In many cases this is (above all in relation to online content) highly unlikely, especially without an elaborate marketing strategy. Moreover, if the licenser is not willing or not able to enforce potential violations of the NC restriction by taking legal action, it hardly makes sense to impose it in the first place.

On the whole, the number of situations where the use of NC licences is the best choice is very limited. There might, however, be a better option which could also serve the intended effect (prevent commercial users to use the work without individual negotiation), while avoiding many of the negative side effects of the NC licences: Some commentators argue that CC SA is “the better NC”.[84] In short: The SA licence grant is not restricted to non-commercial uses and does therefore not impede the free (commercial) use. However, commercial users such as publishers or music companies would be reluctant to use SA content without additional permission because they could only do so under the same licence (CC BY-SA). To arrange a commercial (i.e. traditional) distribution they would need additional rights or exceptions, i.e. the need to negotiate with the creators would arise nonetheless.

See: https://meta.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/Open_Content_-_A_Practical_Guide_to_Using_Creative_Commons_Licences/The_Creative_Commons_licencing_scheme

See also: https://legalict.com/2016/01/07/what-is-the-license-status-of-stackoverflow-code-snippets/

Personally I think we should park this and get back to it when we have a voting body.