TOS updated to match RFCs and Rust repository

Hello everyone, just a quick update. We've changed the TOS to the following. In particular, as of 1 week from today, user contributors will now be licensed in the same way as Rust RFCs and the Rust repository itself:

User contributions made on or after 2020-07-17 are dual-licensed under the MIT and Apache 2.0 licenses unless otherwise stated. The licenses were explicitly chosen to ensure that text from comments on this forum may be included in RFCs, which are also licensed in the same fashion, per RFC 2044. This license also implies that content from the comments on this forum (including code snippets) can be incorporated into the rust-lang/rust repository (or other repositories using a similar license).

User contributions made before 2020-07-17 are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Without limiting any of those representations or warranties, Mozilla has the right (though not the obligation) to, in Mozilla’s sole discretion (i) refuse or remove any content that, in Mozilla’s reasonable opinion, violates any Mozilla policy or is in any way harmful or objectionable, or (ii) terminate or deny access to and use of the Website to any individual or entity for any reason, in Mozilla’s sole discretion. Mozilla will have no obligation to provide a refund of any amounts previously paid.


I disagree that user posts should be commercially usable.
If one makes a contribution to Rust, it is necessary to keep the ecosystem working, but in a forum I don't see a reason for this.

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If someone wants to "share, but not share", so that there are potential copyright issues for any other person who uses what was shared, then the burden should be on the person who is not fully sharing to place obstacles – such as blatant notices with click-throughs – as impediments to others accessing material on which the pseudo-sharer can claim a restrictive copyright.


I do think it should be possible to communicate and help others without weaving all your rights. It is not okay to copy user content and use it for commercial purposes.

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So if you are developing something that you intend to sell, how do you delete from your brain those technical approaches that you saw in someone's apparently-open-but-now-claimed-proprietary post? Commercial teams often have to go to great lengths to avoid such contamination of ideas.

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I don't see how a non-commerial clause makes open source now proprietary.
If a company has a policy of not allowing to read others ideas, it is the problem of their policy and not mine.

FSF makes the distinction that non-commercial open source software is not free (as in libre) software.

In software (rust repo, crates, RFCs?) I totally agree. But this is a forum and posts here are (for me anyway) not software. If they include snippets, those are for reference only.
On Internals it also makes sense, as it does have the task of pushing rust forward.

But here… no, I do not want people to copy my posts somewhere else, let alone in a commercial context.

People quote parts of my posts all the time when they reply on this or other forums. I claim no copyright on the assemblage of words that make up one of my public posts, which the Internet archive will preserve for the foreseeable future.

My copyright concern is about code snippets and suggested problem-solving approaches that someone may post, particularly in a "Help" category reply, then claim copyright on that material.


If one is that paranoid about snippets, then copying them from anywhere is probably a bad idea. Who knows if what I wrote isn't copied from somewhere too?

That will be your copyright-violation problem, not mine.

If you are not concerned about people taking parts of your posts, then what is your concern? You post under a pseudonym, so it's not likely that someone will trace it to your physical doorstep.

Edit: If you really are that concerned, you should change your posting name to reflect that concern, rather than just leaving it to be seen if someone clicks on your "s3bk". For example, change it to " "s3bk-post-content-CC-BY-NC-4.0".

That's frankly a terrible idea, but they seem to have gone along with it anyways. Discourse doesn't allow signatures, so here's a suggestion for a better solution if alternate licensing is actually a desire of the forum: a public /group anyone can join to indicate the alternate post licensing option, which would then allow post styling if set as the "primary group".

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Adding an option to specify a license for posts and/or a signature would be nice.

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It is possible to quote people's comments without requiring that they wave all copyrights as per MIT license. Such licenses are generally regarded as inappropriate for anything but code anyhow, and has nothing to do on a forum.

You have to understand that companies claiming copyright on user-generated content is not a new idea but has always been very dodgy from a moral standpoint. I do not think you meant to make your TOS worse than Facebook's with no warning.

Consider using specific language such as "grant us a perpetual, non-exclusive license to use in RFCs" instead of this carpet-bombing approach that you definitely didn't run past lawyers. Mozilla has resources and can do better.


You might want to reword this as:

(MIT OR Apache-2.0)

As per SPDX, as your wording could refer to:

(MIT AND Apache-2.0)

And/or the above. That's why we computer-scientists overuse xor in regular parlance :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

The previous license made it impossible to copy anything from URLO to "commercial" website like Wikipedia.
Plenty of counterexamples.

It is still possible to ask user to licence their work under another license for the few cases where it is necessary.

This policy definitely was run past lawyers.


Unless you are a lawyer yourself: you don't know this, you never know this. I don't care how much you think you know, you don't know this.

Even if you are a lawyer, you don't and can't know this. You can have reasonable suspicion.

If you aren't a lawyer, you don't have reasonable suspicion. You have an inference based on a tiny part of the picture and an incomplete understanding.