No Military use clause in GPL

I just read a cool story by Tina Gasperson on NewsForge called Open source project adds “no military use” clause to the GPL. (GNU Public License)

Tiziano Mengotti and Rene Tegel are the lead developers on the GPU project. Mengotti is the driving force behind the license “patch,” which says “the program and its derivative work will neither be modified or executed to harm any human being nor through inaction permit any human being to be harmed.”

Mengotti says the clause is specifically intended to prevent military use. “We are software developers who dedicate part of our free time to open source development. The fact is that open source is used by the military industry. Open source operating systems can steer warplanes and rockets. [This] patch should make clear to users of the software that this is definitely not allowed by the licenser.”

This is such an excellent idea. I wish Creative Commons would provide this choice. Now we need a high level court case to defend this version of the GPL.

One thought on “No Military use clause in GPL

  1. Wow, that really is an excellent idea. I wonder if others who publish their intellectual property for the public good will follow suit? It would be nice to have it among the options when selecting a CC licence: no commercial use, no redistribution, no military use…

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