Lets make Haiku truly Free (as in freedom) and Open Source

I wanted to suggest to change to CCO license as this would support the truly Free (as in freedom) and Open Source (FOSS). Which means that when the user downloads a FOSS software or source code, that copy should be the users completely. The user should own the copy of the source code or software. That is what FOSS means. The ability to change, to own the copy and do literally whatever the end user pleases. The copy should 100% completely be owned by the end user.

By placing ANY kinds of restriction, no matter how little this is, this limits the Freeness within the software. Thus this gives a sense of NOT owning the software to the end user.

Imagine you owned a software but you were restricted to do what you want to do with it. Would you personally feel like you owned the software at all?

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Haiku is free. The MIT license works for the project and has worked for years. I’m not sure how much more “free” you would want the source code to be. At the moment, anyone is completely free to make whatever changes they want — provided they don’t use the Haiku name or trademarked artwork, and that they include the MIT license and credits in the work. All this is extremely reasonable and it helps avoid confusion to anyone visiting any new projects. Creative Commons is good; I download and sometimes use CC licensed photos, clip art, etc. myself at times. And I understand where a Share Alike license, etc. is a good suggestion. However, I can say that using a Commons license (or even something looser than that) is most likely not a good model for software. It would be like applying the GFDL (Gnu Free Documentation License) to Haiku.

Anyway, basically, anyone can fork, build a distribution, flavor, etc. at any time and have their own personal copy of the operating system code, as long as Haiku gets credit. Imagine if you wrote an app, and someone else claimed they did it. Or if someone used your app’s name or logo. Pictures licensed with CC get shared outside the original license type all the type, so this could happen. To prevent this, CC licenses offer to the author “attribution” clauses and varying license types; in many ways, some levels are roughly equivalent to the MIT and Distro Guidelines summarized above. And it’s not at all restricting! I should know, as I tried to make a distribution of Haiku called Poem (poem-os.com). It’s possible, Haiku is open, and Haiku is free — but it does require a lot of work and dedication to create and maintain a new branch. It’s very much like starting a new colony (in the case of a distro) or nation (in the case of a fork).

I’m sure others have answers of their own, and I do apologize if I was a bit too upfront or even cross in my reply, but the MIT or BSD license is even more liberal than the GPL, and it’s the one Haiku has stuck with since the start. That said, though, please don’t be discouraged to come up with ideas. :slight_smile: But asking for a license change, a name change, etc. will probably not go well with most. :wink:


It is alright :slight_smile: I understand what you are saying and I am not at all suggesting that Haiku should not be credited for the work, in fact I discourage those people who would make such a dick move to the authors of Haiku and personally if I were to make my own distribution, then I would credit Haiku regardless of what license type it is using :slight_smile:

Doesn’t the term free (as in freedom) means that the user can literally do whatever the user pleases to. MIT nearly achieves this but forcing users to:

  • Include the MIT license in their own distributions
  • To credit original authors
  • To remove trademarks

It kinda ruins a sense of owning the copy of the software or source code for the end user. If the user owned the copy of the software, shouldn’t they have 100% complete control over something that they own?

Try and picture this, imagine you completely owned a software but you had very small restrictions as to what you can and can’t do with your own software. Do you suddenly feel like you own that software anymore?

From my own perspective, do you see from where I am coming from? I want your opinion.

I already offered an opinion about changing to a new CC-style license, (which is that I see its merits, but also see that it would not be the best choice for software.) I believe in users having the freedom of choice… but also authors/developers as well. Every person (and project) decides to choose what they are comfortable using. That’s a freedom, too; the Haiku team agreed to the MIT license (link here), which I believe to be an adequate choice. That said, please understand I am only trying to answer the original post; I am not wishing to start a fight/argument. We all have our opinions and beliefs, and I respect yours. There’s not really much else I can write, except that if you would like to start a new Haiku distribution, anyone can simply check out the project code from GitHub.

Everything one needs to build the system is available; if compiling Haiku inside itself (the easiest way), the builder would simply do ./configure (with any options) inside the main source folder, and jam -j5 @anyboot-image from there. The icons and source are free to use; the Haiku trademarks aren’t per the distro guidelines. However, the good news is that by default (afaik), the new build should automatically turn this off to make it easier for anyone making a distro. If it doesn’t do this, simply specify the level with the --distro-compatibility flag as mentioned in the configure script (lines 49-56). Aside from needing to know basic C/C++, there’s several other things you’ll need to know as well, but hopefully others here can help you if you encounter any issues building that the readmes, build scripts, comments, etc. can’t give.

I hope all this helps somewhat; good luck to you… :slight_smile:


I too respect your opinion too and I am 100% ok if you have a deferring opinion :slight_smile: I respect all opinions.

It might just be me, but it just feels like you can’t own the copy of the software since you can’t do certain things, cause in the past I used to think that the term Open Source meant that the software is public domain and that there are no restrictions at all in place. When I found that what these licenses even meant, it disappointed me, knowing that most FOSS copies can’t be owned by the end user.

Open Source does not mean public domain, as public domain does not mean Open Source. This correlation never really existed as you think. Before OSS became popular, executable binaries could be, and still can be, released as public domain for free use by anyone without releasing the source code. OSS itself is a broad spectrum that spans both the public domain and proprietary domains.

That said, I’m not quite sure how the MIT license restricts you in any meaningful way to achieve your end goal. In order to violate the license, you’d have to waste a bunch of time going through a copy of the repository and do a bunch of meaningless changes to the effect of removing the copyright notice from many thousands of files. Why would you want to do that? The only thing you would be doing is not giving credit where credit is due, and that’s basically all the Haiku devs are asking by releasing under the MIT license. Literally the only cost to you for distributing, modifying, using and/or abusing Haiku is to give credit where it is due. And the hard work has has been done for you, as the required credits are built pervasively into Haiku. Is that too much to ask? Someone, please correct me if I’ve misinterpreted the license.

I does not understand your problem. The MIT is meant for the haiku source itself. If you want to make a distribution of haiku you need to read the distribution laws by haiku.

Haiku is open source and needs to be opwn source. But all programs you write or will we written for you distribution can be closed, also written drivers. Thats your choice.

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As far as I know, there is nothing stopping you from coding a drop in replacement to any part or the entirety of Haiku and releasing it under your own licence, as long as you no longer use that part or entirety of the code or compiled binary in your release. Again, someone correct me if I’m wrong.

The first two are not blocking ownership. They re after protecting authors rights. And here the only right they claim is to assert what they wrote was written by them. Nothing more nothing less.

Regarding trademarks the MIT license don’t enforce this.

Haiku trademarks are unrelated to the source code license.
That’s Haiku Inc, which registered trademarks and forbid to use them without respect their conditions to use it. Haiku Devs wants that to avoid some distro not compatible with what haiku core devs consider the haiku “standard” compatibility.
Your distro can’t use the trademarks owned and defended by Haiku Inc. if it doesn’t respect the terms of trademarks usage. But you can perfectly do a distro without these trademarks. You just can’t pretend it’s conform to what is trademarked as being Haiku.

The MIT license allow to do whatever a user wants of his source copy. Absolutely all he want. He can replace every occurrence of authors names and put his own or make jokes of them, write insults on every file replace default icons with porn images or whatever, we don’t care as it’s his own copy.

It’s only if he wants to redistribute his copy (aka allow copies of his personal copy of our common copy of Haiku source code) that the MIT license enforce that user to do one single thing : give creditts where it’s due aka keeping unmodified or only partially modified source code with the credits as is. Adding his for his own changes is obviously allowed but not pretending he did all himself until he actually did it. In such hypothetical situation where Haiku source code only gave him inspiration for his own code of, well, whatever, MIT license don’t enforce anything in such case.


You never own a copy of a software if you’re not the author.


You already requested a licence change last week so I won’t repeat what I said there. I am annoyed because I am wasting some time reading through this again.

You won’t manage to wear our willingness until we agree with you, if that’s what you are trying.

Still, a few words on the trademarks. You would like to own our trademarks. You would like that everyone can do whatever they want with it. The result would be that is would be used and misused in many places. We often kindly request people to stop using our logo for unrelated things.

Why do we do this? Because unlike the software, the value of the trademark decreases as you share it. "Haiku“ is something speciul and recognizable, because of the efforts people put into it over the years but also because of the care we take about protecting the trademark. You are free to take our work and bring it in other directions, but you can’t steal our identity.