The Hippocratic License

A Note from the Author

For full context on why I launched this project, please read this thread. To summarize: my goal was to spark conversation about the implications of the “freedom at all costs” requirement for officially sanctioned Open Source software, in light of the abuses of power and civil and human rights violations of governments and their collaborators. Developers don’t want their labor being used to do harm, and the current structure of open source software strips any power from creators to prevent this from happening. We are being exploited. Human freedom is being traded for so-called “software freedom”.

My call to arms: amend clauses 5 and 6 of the Open Source Definition to usher in a new era of ethical development, and for fucks sake #NoTechForICE.

If you know of someone who is doing work in the OSS and ethics space, who is interested in a signal boost, please open an issue on our repo or message @CoralineAda on Twitter and I will add them as a resource to this page.

A Note on OSD Compatibility

The Hippocratic License likely does not meet the strict requirements of the Open Source Definition provided by the Open Source Initiative, as this is a license that values human rights over software freedom. Traditional, officially sanctioned open source licenses cannot prohibit unethical usage, because in their own words, “giving everyone freedom means giving evil people freedom, too.” Nonetheless, the Hippocratic License will be submitted to OSI for an official determination in the coming weeks.