Hacktivismo Enhanced-Source Software License Agreement

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Hacktivismo Enhanced-Source Software License Agreement
AuthorOxblood Ruffin
Debian FSG compatibleNo
FSF approvedNo[1]
OSI approvedNo
GPL compatibleNo

The Hacktivismo Enhanced-Source Software License Agreement (HESSLA) is a software license proposed by Hacktivismo that attempts to put ethical restrictions on use and modification of software released under it.

The license was written by Oxblood Ruffin (of Hacktivismo and CULT OF THE DEAD COW) and Eric Grimm, an attorney with the EFF.

The HESSLA allows for enhancements to be made and for derivative works to be created, but it prohibits the use or modification of the software to violate human rights or to introduce features that spy on the user. It is intended to be a legally enforceable document. However, due to these restrictions, it is not technically a free software license[1] or an open source license, though it was inspired by free software and open source licenses.


HESSLA has been criticized by the Free Software Foundation for introducing restrictions that they claim are ineffective for preventing abuse, but introduce legal incompatibility with other licenses.[2] It also is listed as a good example of a human rights license in the Creative Commons wiki.[3]


The web browser xB Browser was temporarily based on the Torrify Ethical Software License Agreement (TESLA) which was built upon HESSLA.[4][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Licenses — HESSLA". Free Software Foundation. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  2. ^ "The HESSLA's Problems" from gnu.org
  3. ^ Hubley, Craig (8 February 2008). "Human rights license". wiki. Creative Commons. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  4. ^ "The Torrify Ethical Software License Agreement". XeroBank. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  5. ^ "GPL Violations in XeroBank Browser | PortableApps.com - Portable software for USB, portable and cloud drives". Retrieved 2016-09-28.

External links[edit]