Re: New License/Exception Request

Kyle Mitchell


I wrote the npm code that gave the warning you received. I contributed
that code unofficially, as a member of the npm community. I don't speak
for SPDX or npm here. Just for myself.

From a community point of view, it was very important to choose a
metadata standard that recognized "dissident" forms like WTFPL and
Unlicense. SPDX has taken the time---much of it volunteer time--- to
make that possible. Some of the SPDX-listed options are Open Source
licenses, and some are not. But all the people who use them are valued
members of our community. Public domain dedication and "anti-licenses"
are a real, if still small, movement.

It was also important not to exclude or pester members of the community
who want to use personal license terms to express themselves. npm CLI
gives warnings because, most of the time, a nonstandard `license`
property comes from forgetting to add one altogether or using an
ambiguous or misspelled identifier, like `BSD` or `Apache 2`. If the
error output really bothers you, you can change the `license` property
to `SEE LICENSE IN` or similar. See You could also change
to `WTFPL` and include both English and French texts in your package.

The issue of language and translations is very important, and unsolved.
I speak English natively, Russian badly, and Spanish almost not at all
anymore. Personally, if I spoke Spanish or Russian natively, and English
as a second language, the hard-to-read English of most open- source
licenses would bring WTFPL closer to my heart. Using an English-
language WTFPL with a "translation" would bother me. Nobody likes to
feel unappreciated.

I fear taking time from everyone on the list to "standardize"
translations of "fuck" in multiple languages, even "official"
translations, would leave the members of the working group feeling very
little appreciated. On the legal side of open source, few groups deserve
it less than SPDX. It might be funny if they did. But they don't.

I know how hard it can be to work in someone else's native language.
Thank you for working in mine!



Kyle Mitchell, attorney // Oakland // (510) 712 - 0933

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