back to article 'Tofu' license pits open source against meat

What you can - and cannot do - with your software is often determined by the code owner's license. From not using open source APIs with closed-source digital rights management (DRM) to being barred from fiddling with Windows source code, we've seen it all. Or have we? Joining the open source and commercial melee is a document …


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  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Ole Juul

    Count me out

    From the EULA: "You agree you are not involved in or profit from the use of animals for entertainment..."

    I keep two cats in order to control mice on our rural premises. These animals are also a source of much intertainment.

  3. Vincent Manis
    Thumb Down

    Another article that misses the mark

    Whatever this license might be, it most definitely isn't an open source license. The Open Source Definition has at least two clauses (no discrimination against persons or groups, and no discrimination against fields of endeavor) that are. at least according to the article, are violated. Similarly, the Four Freedoms include the right for anyone to run the software, again violated, according to the article, by this license.

    I do wish the article's author had been a bit more careful about using the term `open source' for something that is nothing of the kind.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    I am curious, but not so curious to read through all the available licensing options with my IANALButILikeToPretendIAm hat on, but if i were to get to the download section without saying I agree to the terms of use (say, for example, I was using a browser with broken JS or CSS support, such as notepad.exe, or i went straight to the download url) and I used the software in accordance with the commercial or lgpl license as documented on their website, have I actually violated anything?

    Apart from the DMCA, of course. Everything violates the DMCA.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Someone beat me to it :)

    Brilliant, I was considering this as well.

    Choose the groups you don't like, opensource to the rest of humantiy and hope that one of the bozos in the group you don't like just as much as sniffs your software and take them to court :)

    Opensource licenses are a lot more confusing then this is free as in beer (actually I am not sure if free as in beer is that straightforward anyhow), good to see some more exclusions put into them.

    I wonder if you could release a book and block who had the right to buy it - that would put a few noses out of joint.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So take a wild guess of how many people will ever use any of that software.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Not the first

    There was that downloadable dictionary or whatever it was the other year where the license terms were that you were only going to take no more than four flights a year and not own a SUV.

  8. David Tonhofer Silver badge
    Dead Vulture

    Your license, should you accept it....

    Ok, new levels of randomness from the Internet. Whatever.

    But the title of this little Reg' Article is wrong as this is not "Open Source" at all. Let's check the somewhat "papal" definition at It says:

    5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups: The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons.

    And there you go.

  9. Michael Sheils


    In the name of equality I demand that someone makes a meat-eaters only licence.

  10. Ishkandar

    Then along comes someone...

    ...who'll make a similar or better product and ban all vegans from using it !! Where will this stop ??

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Speaking as a Vegaterian

    GROW UP!!

    (I'm not sure that two exclamation marks are enough, but I don't want to tip myself over the edge into the insanity enjoyed by these miserable wannabe-hippie-dogooders.)

  12. Joe
    Thumb Down

    Hippies in the Code??

    I'm sorry. I really do not understand. A script that is politically correct? Suck my what?

    There is no ambiguity/judgement in a script. A script does what it is told to do. F**K the hippies.

    My scripts (In what ever language) EAT MEAT!!!! (then they have pudding.)

  13. yeah, right.


    Well, it's their license, so I guess they get to say what they want.

    I hope all five of them have fun using the software. Actually, looking at the restrictions in a bit more detail with a legalistic eye, I'm unsure that anyone alive in a "modern" western nation could claim to be able to follow the license restrictions to their full extent without at least some wilful hypocrisy.

    But hey, whatever floats their boat.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Clinching proof...

    ...that developing in JEE is harmful to ones mental wellbeing.

  15. Leo Rampen
    Dead Vulture

    It's also GPL'd?

    If you take a look at the google code project page ( it says on the front page that it's released under the GPL. IANAL, and I have no idea what the GPL's position on this is, but can you apply extra conditions to a piece of code (like they have done) and still claim that it is under the GPL? Obviously their copyright, their rules, but one would think that by licensing something under the GPL, you lose the right to dictate who can and can't use your software.

  16. GettinSadda
    Thumb Down

    It is pointless...

    The code is covered by GPLv3.

    Section 8 of GPLv3 includes the following:

    "All other non-permissive additional terms* are considered “further restrictions” within the meaning of section 10. If the Program as you received it, or any part of it, contains a notice stating that it is governed by this License along with a term that is a further restriction, you may remove that term."

    * It lists some very specific additions you may make.

    Section 10 of GPLv3 includes:

    "You may not impose any further restrictions on the exercise of the rights granted or affirmed under this License."

  17. sas
    Gates Horns

    Restrictions only apply to downloading?

    "By downloading ExtTLD from this website, you agree to the following terms and conditions."

    Which suggests the additional terms only apply to whoever downloads the code from that site- they're the copyright holders so they're allowed to do this. However, since the actual code is LGPL once it's been given to someone they're free to distribute it without the additional restrictions.

  18. Robert Brockway
    Paris Hilton

    This isn't new.

    This isn't at all new. Around 1994 I encountered a package which granted a free licence to anyone except for members of the Nevada state legislature and their immediate family members for whom a $50000 licence fee was payable.

    Reading between the lines the author was a university student resident in Nevada who didn't at all like the state education policies.

    PH because I think she went to Nevada once.

  19. Sean Baggaley

    @Vincent Manis

    The article doesn't say "Open Source" (note the capitalizations). The article uses lower-case references to "open source" throughout.

    Contrary to increasingly popular belief, Stallman & Co. did _NOT_ invent the concept of opening up the source code to one's applications. I regret to inform you that "Open Source" is not a f*cking registered trademark.

  20. daniel Silver badge
    Dead Vulture

    Where is this in their licences?

    Their licence page at shows 2 licenencing methods:

    Open licence (GPL v3 - actually pointing to LGPL) at

    Commercial licence at

    I cannot see in the commercial licence anything pertaining to this article... and of course, nothing in the LGPL licence either...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Sean Baggaley

    Totally with you on this one.

  22. Vincent Manis

    @Sean Baggaley

    1. The Open Source Definition is not the work of Richard Stallman or the FSF, who overall does not like the phrase.

    2. The non-discrimination clauses I quoted come from the Open Source Definition, which is published by the Open Source Initiative.

    3. When Microsoft developed licenses that they considered to be open-source (note lower case), they submitted them to the OSI for approval.

    4. The Wikipedia article on open source cites a reference ([6]) from 1990 that shows the term to be used to signify `materials open to the public and freely available' [my wording] and opposed implicitly to `controlled'.

    5. I hope Sean would not consider a library to be public if it refused admittance to meat eaters, vegetarians, or any other group.

    For the record, I have been using open-source software since about 1970, back when user groups such as SHARE (IBM) and DECUS (DEC) used to distribute it. The GNU Manifesto clearly says that RMS wanted to re-create the environment he'd experienced at the MIT AI Lab, so he can hardly have claimed to invented the concept.

  23. Andrew Wigglesworth

    Oh, dear, you've got to laugh sometimes,

    "The article doesn't say "Open Source" (note the capitalizations). The article uses lower-case references to "open source" throughout.

    Contrary to increasingly popular belief, Stallman & Co. did _NOT_ invent the concept of opening up the source code to one's applications. I regret to inform you that "Open Source" is not a f*cking registered trademark"

    <sarcasm> You really don't know what you're talking about do you?</sarcasm>

  24. Gareth Holmes
    Gates Horns

    Seen it before

    This license will go the same way as that weird clause on Zynaddsubfx (A fine and free synth).

    The clause was something like "Please don't use this program to make music that is against God and Jesus Christ".

    Thankfully that weird request appears to have disappeared in the latest incarnation of Zynaddsubfx.

    (Bill-Z-bub for relevance)

  25. Mr Fuzzy

    No animal products eh?

    That's organic farmers using manure as fertilizer right out then. Rabid hippie in chemical farming shocker!

  26. This post has been deleted by its author

  27. Whitter

    Inane nonsence

    As we are animals ourselves, software code is itself an animal product. So nobody can use it...

  28. hobo

    who cares? Did you watch the video??

    who cares? Did you watch the video??

  29. Bruno Girin

    TfL et al

    "Also out is participation in animal-based sports, such as rodeo riding, and transport of animals."

    So does this mean Transport for London, UK train companies and airlines can't use it until they abolish cattle class on all services?*

    *The word "service" is used loosely here. No I'm not bitter about ****ing engineering works finishing late this morning, I already notified LUL of their farcical use of the word "service".

  30. Ed


    IANALBILTPIA also. Imagine that. Anyway, assuming that you did not agree to the terms of their license, you would be violating copyright. However, since it is apparent that they've actually distributed it under a GPL, and merely added those terms and conditions to the front, rather than distributing it under a modified GPL, no, you would only be violating the DMCA.

    Oh, and at least one other poster might be interested to know that a trademark need not be registered, and given the recent usage of the term, 'Open Source' would almost certainly qualify for being an unregistered trademark, if it were unregistered. Now, I wouldn't be willing to bet that the term is, in fact, unregistered, also given recent usage of the term.

    Now, one bit of confusion I do have, as IANAJ, and most specifically, IANTJThatThisCaseWouldGoToIfItWereTakenToTrial, and, of course, said trial hasn't happened yet, is does the fact that the author of the code is attempting to add terms to the GPL modify the effect of the attempt? If that detail doesn't modify the attempt, then, as someone said above, the additional restrictions simply fall off. If it doesn't, then, well, as someone else above mentioned, none of us use it, because humans are animals, and we therefore all produce various animal products - whether software, cars, noxious gasses, or other...

  31. Morely Dotes
    Dead Vulture

    Are birds and fish exempt?

    Or does the author consider them animals?

    Not that it matters. What sane developer uses Java these days?

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