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More Freedom

Several months ago a developer in the Jabber/XMPP community let us know that the XSF’s intellectual property rights policy prevented him from including text, examples, and schemas from our XEP specifications in his code. In particular, the Creative Commons Attribution License (which we were using to cover XEPs) is not consistent with the Debian Free Software Guidelines. Since we are big fans of Debian GNU/Linux around here (we use it to run all the infrastructure), we decided to investigate the matter.

After some research as well as discussion by the XSF Board of Directors, the XSF membership, and the debian-legal mailing list, we settled on a slightly-modified MIT license to cover our specifications. (No, we didn’t want to use a modified license, but we needed to make certain rights crystal-clear to those who develop XMPP-based software and deploy XMPP-based services.) This license gives folks even more freedom to implement, deploy, copy, modify, merge, publish, translate, distribute, sublicense, even sell copies of our specifications. And since Jabber technologies have always been focused on freedom, it’s only appropriate that the XSF’s specifications should be as free as possible.

The updated license is here:



Posted in meta.

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  1. sander says

    “Clarifications Negotiated With Debian & MIT

    Finally, Version 3.0 of the licenses include minor clarifications to the language of the licenses to take account of the concerns of Debian (more details here) and MIT (more details here).

    As part of discussions with Debian, it was proposed to allow the release of CC-licensed works under DRM by licensees on certain conditions — what was known as the “parallel distribution language” but this has not been included as part of Version 3.0 of the CC licenses.”

    (From: )