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Current “open” source licenses for code are ahistorical and have been created within libertarian and neo colonial ideological frameworks that reinforce Racial Capitalism.These licenses allow for the development of code without any responsibility for its current and future negative outcomes .
The “Beloved Community License” is a proactive ethical framework for developers and users of technology. At it ’s core the BCL links historical context , social activism, and the Black radical tradition to the development and usage of technology that seeks to create new emancipatory political and economic space.
The text of the BCL is below for consideration and critique.
The Beloved Community Software License (Version 1.0)
The BCL is a Non Violent Software License that is created out of Love, Peace, and Purpose.
The BCL Software License is based on an understanding and recognition of: Martin Luther King’s “Beloved Community”, “Gandhian Nonviolence”, and a Spiritual Activism that pursues a future of Freedom through ending the struggle of the oppressed Multitudes of the World.
As Technologist and Spiritual Activist, we are building a modern future of: Freedom, Spirituality, and Fulfillment for all. In this new modern World, Violence, Poverty, Racism, Sexism, Prisons, and Militarism cannot survive.
Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the “Software”), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:
Recognition and Possibilities
Software and Hardware issued under the BCL Software License will be used to improve the lives of the Multitudes of the World that are oppressed and in struggle.
Software and Hardware issued under the BCL License will be used to foster the development of equitable and inclusive political and economic spaces.
Whenever it is feasible the Software and Hardware issued under the BCL License shall be used to enable the enfranchisement of the incarcerated into the daily activities of our communities.
By using Software and Hardware Issued under the BCL License you recognize the spiritual divinity of every person with special attention to the hungry, the homeless and the oppressed.
By using Software and Hardware Issued under the BCL License you recognize the sanctity of the earth (by reducing extraction without adequate compensation, restoration and regeneration).
By using Software and Hardware Issued under the BCL License you recognize the humanity of the incarcerated.
By using Software and Hardware Issued under the BCL License you recognize that reparations and atonement are a part of a needed healing process for the oppressed Multitude.
Software or Hardware issued under the BCL License cannot be used for any violent purpose.
Software or Hardware issued under the BCL License cannot be used for surveillance of any kind.
Software or Hardware issued under the BCL License cannot be used for war.
Software or Hardware issued under the BCL License cannot be used to support Military activities.
Software or Hardware issued under the BCL cannot be used to inflict violence upon the earth.
Software or Hardware issued under the BCL License cannot be be used by institutions of incarceration.
Software or Hardware issued under the BCL License cannot be used to support the activities of Institutions of Incarceration.
Software or Hardware issued under the BCL License cannot be sub licensed.
The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
The BCL is a Software License that is based non violence and a radical love for all.
The BCL does not support judicial and legal systems that enforce corporal punishment, or retributive justice.
As a first measure disputes concerning the terms of the BCL License will be adjudicated through a spiritual community driven Nonviolent communication process.
Some questions to consider:
1.) Do current main stream open source licenses schemes commodify race/class/gender in the service of neo colonialism ?
2.) Are open source license schemes antagonistic to Black code ?
3.) Is open source code state sanctioned code ?
4.) open source is used by police department and legal institutions to criminalize Blackness. Are current open source license schemes fertile ground for the development of code that is used to extend and bring new realities to the “New” Jim Crow ?
5.) What are the implications and ramifications of large scale adoption of the BCL ?