Wednesday, July 20, 2011

JSLint, Licensing, and JSON Visualization

The JSLint license specifies that it should be used for Good, not Evil.

Suppose I construct some program that I believe to be Good, and use JSLint to improve the quality of that program. Further suppose that I release my code under a permissive license, such as a BSD license. Now suppose that somebody else takes my program and uses it for Evil.

In this case, the evil-doer has not actually violated their license agreement with me, since BSD licenses permit Evil. However, the evil-doer has now profited from the increased code quality gained from using JSLint.

Is the evil-doer now in violation of the JSLint license, despite never actually using JSLint themselves? Alternatively, perhaps I am now in violation of the JSLint license? Does the JSLint license require me to use the "Good" clause in my license as well, to prevent this scenario?

These are the questions that trouble me this morning. By the way, I've released the source to my JSON visualizer under a BSD license.