Solid Licencing Information

@yeehi: “There is no software licence for solid included with the software. On the projects home page it states that solid is “Open Source”. A Free licence document, such as the AGPL, should be included for those who clone/download the software. It should be readily apparent to visitors of the page, with an obvious file name, like licence.txt.”

@RubenVerborgh: "Yes there is, in individual software repositories such as This repository is not a software repository, that’s why it does not have a license.

@yeehi: " Thanks for your work on devloping Solid, @RubenVerborgh !Could a text file with the MIT licence be included in this github? Others might spend time looking for licencing statement, too. A Free licence is clearly a great asset and I am sure a matter of pride."

@megoth: " I guess we could add a note pointing out that license is on each repo?"

@RubenVerborgh: “Let’s add a note, not all of Solid might have the same license.”

@kjetilk: “Also, we should probably have a license on the documentation too, or is all that intended to be “All rights reserved”?”

@melvincarvalho: “or some kind of creative commons license?”

@csarven:" +1 to CC BYEdited : if CC BY (or something more restrictive), it needs to be associated with legal entities eg. MIT, list of contributors. CC 0 would be a good alternative to getting around this.If “All rights reserved”, reserved to who? Which legal entity? Many people have contributed to the documentation over the years in different ways eg. through github, gitter, as well as offline. I suggest that the rights/license on the documentation acknowledges and reflects that to some extent. CC0 may be a safe way of muddling through that mess. "

@RubenVerborgh: It seems that @kjetilk’s point was more that, given the lack of a license now, this is what should be assumed. In any case, I think it is up to @timbl as a project owner to decide on this, or at least weigh in.

@kjetilk: Indeed, the default legal fallback is quite unclear, so it seems like we need to have this explicit.

@akuckartz: " The rights then are very limited."

@kjetilk:“Yup, but also unclear in the sense that it has many contributors who might have been unaware of the conditions.”

1 Like

The discussion is continuing in the closed issue:

Hi @akuckartz,

I’ve reopened the GitHub issue for you so you can continue the conversation there. Would you prefer I delete this thread too?


No problem to keep this thread as far as I am concerned. It is good to have a link from here to there (linked data :slight_smile:)

1 Like

If the copyright issue continues on Github, maybe I can make some tangential, but related remarks here (but feel free to move to a new topic).

I am a newcomer to Solid and that is a unique postion to share some feedback on my first perceptions of the technology. The additional licensing-related remarks in Github by @csarven and @kjetil point to the importance of open licensing (relating to both code and documentation) for the community and getting community contributions.

Ever since I started following Solid from a distance, and received announcements (e.g. by @RubenVerborgh), I checked the Github repo’s but didn’t see a lot of commits and activity. I assumed work taking place elsewhere, out of my sight, like in IRC, mailinglists and - with @timbl involved - in W3C working groups.

Then Solid was launched and I saw some great stuff appearing (like @RubenVerborgh’s React components that hide Solid complexity for devs). Great work, and compliments to everyone involved!

But - and now comes the gist - the whole initiative does not feel to me like an open-standards initiative that is going to a dominant force in decentralizing the web, though that may be what you want to be (note: no disrespect, absolutely not, this is about perception to newbies).

There is the MIT Solid page, that looks a bit like a startup company website with sponsors, and all content ‘All rights reserved’. It points to commercial entity Inrupt Inc where all content is ‘Solid, All rights reserved’. And - most importantly - the community sections are part of that website. Then the Solid Github repo is unlicensed (this thread deals with that), and the spec is fragmented in several repo’s with different licenses. Main spec CC0 (great!) and e.g. web-access-control-spec MIT (why?).

Guess I am saying is, that it may be worthwhile to do more than determining licenses where they are missing, and also look at some restructuring and marketing aspects related to community building.


I was inspired by your words and compiled a list of the repos with their attributed licenses (if any), adding some suggested changes. I’ve updated the original Github issue with more information on this, as I think most of the repo owners are more active there.

Hope my proposals look sensible :slight_smile: (I’m no license expert, so very open for a more nuanced discussion on the specific repos on this)