The Ethical Source Movement

The Ethical Source Definition

Software is considered Ethical Source if it meets the following five criteria:

  1. It is freely distributed with source code and can be used or combined with other software without a royalty or fee.
  2. It is developed in public and is welcoming of community contributions.
  3. Its community is governed by a code of conduct that is consistently and fairly enforced.
  4. Its creators have the right to prohibit its use by individuals or organizations engaged in human rights violations or other behavior that they deem unethical.
  5. Its creators have the right to solicit reasonable and voluntary compensation from the communities or institutions that benefit from the software.

The Ethical Source Definition is a living document. The Ethical Source community at large owns this definition and may improve and evolve it by contributing issues and revisions in our Github repository.