Filterlist licences (and licences in general)

Okay, so I presume that most (if not all) of us think that licences are convoluted. And that a fair few open-source tech enthusiasts take them far too seriously.

An example is GPLv3, which to me is for the most part incomprehensible, thus I can’t tell if people would bat any eyelids if I auto-grabbed content from someone else’s GPLv3 list (e.g. EasyList, uAssets, Frellwit, etc.) and used them in my BSD lists or not. I also can’t really figure out what the criteria for GPL-content modification even are. Mozilla Public License v2.0 isn’t exactly layman-readable either.

Although it seems to be rare for list maintainers to actually take offence to things like these, I know that it has happened with Energized Pro in particular, whose pissing-off of Steven Black was exacerbated by the former being yet another aggregate list as well as taking weeks off from development at a time.

I also haven’t really found any comparison charts/tables that compare different licences (although I haven’t really actively looked for one). It appears to me that CC0, WTFPL, and The Unlicense are the most free ones, followed by CC-BY, BSD, and DBAD, but none of them seem to me at a glance to be widely used by filterlist maintainers. Then there’s the stupidly strict ones like GPL, Mozilla, and CC BY-NC-ND, which are sometimes even spiteful enough to prohibit their use in more loosely licenced projects.

Long story short: Licences are confusing and convoluted, especially their relations to one another. It’s even making me tempted to create my own licence just for the [fun/hell] of it, so that I can feel confident in my intentions for my own projects.


Okay, so I ended up trying to create my own licence, which is basically in itself a convoluted way for me to say “Can’t we all just be friends instead of bickering?”.

On the presumption that anyone here have read up on licences and such, does that licence of mine look good?

Yeah, they are kind of a mess. It’d be nice to generate a simple breakdown of what the most important license features are to list maintainers. So, if list X has license Y, you know that your own list that you are maintaining can or cannot use list X in various ways because it’s licensed under Y.

I started to do that with the “Is adaptation allowed?” and “Is commercial use allowed?” in the License model of FilterLists:

But, it’s not visibly in the UI in any meaningful form yet.

As both you and Collin know, I moved from GPLv2 (not the or-later type) to CC BY-NC-SA. It was due to an agreement between myself and Ivan Ristić from whom I license Hardenize’s “Confusables” phishing hosts. I’m not crazy about the License, but it was that or not have access.

I prefer Anti-Copyright or CC0 and use them when possible. Going forward, I want to renegotiate with Ivan to at least be able to revert to GPLv2. On the other hand the non-commercial clause in CC BY-NC-SA really isn’t so bad.

1 Like