Proposal: Free Use for Kids

I’m considering a change to the terms of the “standard deal” that folks using strictEq (once it’s renamed) will offer for their work. I’d sure appreciate feedback. In short:

I propose to make use of the software by children under the age of majority—usually 18 years old—free for any purpose.

I see two reasons to adopt this change.

The first is technical: If you’re not old enough to enter contracts, which you have to do to buy a license or sign up for the website, you shouldn’t be shut out. And you shouldn’t have to cajole your parent or legal guardian to buy a license for you.

The second is more personal and professional. I think one of the big reasons a lot of us feel so strongly about open source is that it gave us tools, raw materials, and opportunities when we were very young, before we had access to meaningful money, credit cards, and so on. It’s part of the ethos of any strong and worthy trade or profession to lend a hand to those just starting out.

I suppose there might be some children out there who are working somehow, or trying to start small businesses despite their age. With family support, some of those ventures might even make money. But I think those use cases are still very sympathetic, as well as massively outweighed by the benefit of telling kids that they can try stuff out.


this is a really good idea imo. when i was first starting out, having a “hey. we see you, and we respect you, here’s some free stuff” would’ve made my day

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While this is perhaps more technical, I think the second part falls out of this in any case.

This is great!

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Great! Thank you both!

Here’s the first stab at the legal terms I managed:

Prohibited Purposes

You may not use the software to make money or for work, except for Free Trials and Children’s Projects

Children's Projects

You may use this software to make money or for work if you are a child below the legal age of adulthood where you live, usually eighteen years, or you are helping a child with a project of theirs.

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hmm. what about countries where children are forced to work?

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Are you saying forced child labour, or child labour, should or should not pay?

Such economical circumstances aren’t really the conditions required to respect or even encounter such licensing terms in the first place, those within have more low level concerns than abstract work and respecting copyrights, such as making sure their family has food.

I think it is fair for such instances to not be of explicit concern, and just fall under the children’s projects clause, as respect and enforcement is not a given.

Oh, I think your concern would be employers getting a free pass because their employees are children. Which I guess is fair, but the previous point of respect and enforceability and lack of desire to enforce for such use cases would still apply here.

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yes your 2nd thought about evilcorp exploiting things loophole like. sorry if that wasn’t clear. in another thread came up the notion of “affordable/unaffordable”. maybe a more “generic” way of “exceptions” could be formulated which would include people with disabilities (e.g. autism, independent of age) but still working independently (i.e. not on behalf of someone else).

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