Human rights license

From Creative Commons
Jump to: navigation, search

Two good examples of a human rights license that forbids use by human rights violating parties:

These are share-alike licenses that forbid use by one specific class of persons and institutions, those being human rights violators. Hacktivismo and Xerobank refer to these licenses as part of the free software movement and argue, similarly to Richard Stallman, that they support a broader definition of freedom than mere access to source code. Stallman and GNU generally reject this claim, but certainly it's justifiable if freedom is understood as guaranteed by human rights law, treaty and convention. Some licenses already contained clauses to deny use to rights-violating parties, such as the original BSD license.

The modern licenses are extremely clear but are generally considered hard to enforce, as would be a peace license or green license. However, such a license remains a potential candidate for a future Creative Commons Public License. This category of human rights violators overlaps commercial and non-commercial use and accordingly cannot be defined within the existing license scopes.

The Hacktivismo/Xerobank type of license states that private use is unlimited, except that unlike GPL, it may not be modified to include trojans, security compromising programs, spyware, or other malwares. It also prohibits modification of xB Browser for use with commercial proxy services other than XeroBank, which may be to prevent any such commercial service from being used at all, since commercial services are easy to subvert or bribe.

rights and freedoms protected in a human rights license

Taken from the premable to the TESLA:

"The Freedoms We Promote: When we speak of the freedom of end-users, we are talking about basic freedoms recognized in the Hactivismo Declaration,[fn2] the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,[fn3] the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,[fn4] and other documents that recognize and promote freedom and human dignity. Principal among these freedoms are: [fn2] [1] [fn3] [2] [fn4] [3]

freedom of expression

Freedom of Expression: The freedom of opinion and expression "include[s] freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers,"[fn5] and the freedom to choose one's own medium of expression. The arbitrary use of technological censorship measures to block or prevent access to broad categories of speech and expression including the work of critics, intellectuals, artists, journalists, and religious figures is seldom, if ever, justified by any legitimate governmental objective. And, to the extent that technology enables censorship decisions to be removed from public scrutiny and review, technology-based censorship mechanisms are especially suspect and dangerous to civil society. When repressive governments and other institutions of power seek to deprive people of this basic freedom, people have the right to secure, employ and deploy the tools necessary to reclaim the freedoms to which they are justifiably entitled.

[fn5] Article 19, Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

freedom of collective action and association

Freedom of Collective Action and Association: People have and should have the "freedom of peaceful assembly and association."[fn6] This freedom includes the right of people to work together to secure constructive change in their personal, economic, and political circumstances. When repressive governments or other institutions of power seek to deprive people (including users of the Internet) of their freedoms of voluntary assembly, association, and common enterprise, people have the right to secure, employ and deploy technologies that reclaim the freedoms to which they are justifiably entitled.

[fn6] Article 20(1), Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

freedoms of thought, conscience, sexuality and religion

Freedoms of Thought, Conscience, Sexuality, and Religion: People have and should have the freedom of "thought, conscience, and religion."[fn7] This right "includes freedom to change religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others, in public or private, to manifest any religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance, regardless of doctrine."[fn8] Every person, regardless of sex or sexual preference, and with reciprocal respect for the corresponding rights of all others, has and should have the right to determine and choose, freely and without coercion, whether, how and with whom he or she shall fully enjoy the most private and personal aspects of human life, including individual sexuality, reproduction, and fertility. Moreover, "[t]he explicit recognition and reaffirmation of the right of all women to control all aspects of their health, in particular their own fertility, is basic to their empowerment."[fn9] When repressive governments and other institutions of power seek to deprive people of these basic freedoms, they have the right to secure, employ and deploy the tools necessary to reclaim the freedoms to which they are justifiably entitled. [fn7] Article 18, Universal Declaration of Human Rights. [fn8] Id. [fn9] Paragraph 17, Beijing Declaration of the Fourth United Nations Conference on Women (Sept. 15, 1995).


Freedom of Privacy: Every person has the right to be free from "subject[ion] to arbitrary interference with his [or her] privacy, family, home or correspondence"[fn10] -- digitally, or by any other means or methodology. This freedom of privacy includes the right to be free from governmental or private surveillance that might interfere with or deter the rightful exercise of any other freedoms of any person. In the context of software tools that enable people to reclaim their freedoms, all end-users have and should have the right to secure and use tools that are free from the surreptitious insertion into their software of "backdoors," "spy-ware," escrow mechanisms, or other code or techniques that might promote surveillance, or subvert security (including cryptographic security), confidentiality, anonymity, authenticity and/or trust.

[fn10] Article 12, Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

enhance governtment accountability =

Enhance Government Accountability: To this end, we have sought and intend to ensure, to the fullest extent that law (including, without limitation, the law of contract and of copyright licensing) enables us to do so,[fn16] that no government or other institution may do anything with this computer software or the underlying source code without becoming a Licensee bound by the terms of this License Agreement, subject to the same restrictions on modification and use as anyone else. [fn16] "Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating . . . fundamental rights . . ." Article 8, United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.