The Json license has an appendix where it says:

The Software shall be used for Good, not Evil.

If I want to use a library with the Json license am I forced to add this quote to my license?

Update: Changed the title so that its question and text ask the same question

1 Answer 1


Yes, assuming that it is reasonable to interpret "this permission notice" as the whole of the license text.

GPL-compatibility for permissive licenses like MIT and BSD relies on the doctrine of sublicensing; you may give downstream recipients fewer rights than you received, but not more. In this case you never had the right to use the software for evil, which means you cannot possibly give it to recipients.

  • I changed the title so it asks the same question as the text. Can you check your answer?
    – openCage
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 7:16
  • 1
    @EMBLEM what if I am a customer, partner or minion of IBM and therefor allowed to use JSON for evil? Can I sublicense that right?
    – Philipp
    Commented Aug 6, 2016 at 11:35
  • @Philipp I'm not sure. In that case I would guess that it's legal, but the employee would likely be punished internally for it. Don't quote me on that if you happen to be what you suggested.
    – EMBLEM
    Commented Aug 6, 2016 at 15:59

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