Just what we need, another country turning into a theocracy.
Wasn't it bad enough with Iran and Saudi Arabia? Oh, no... the Texans had to go down the same path with their "new curriculum standard that would encourage high school students to question the legal doctrine of church-state separation".
If the license said "do no harm" what you are saying would probably be true, but it doesn't. Do read the explanation at http://www.peta.org/hpl.htm
The license talks about intent to cause grievous bodily harm. These are formal legal expressions with well defined legal meanings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grievous_bodily_harm
I agree that free software has to be free by definition. But is the meaning of the word "Free" established by FSF?
According to the open dictionary (http://open-dictionary.com/Free), free, when talking about software can be defined as: "with very few limitations on distribution or improvement compared to proprietary software". "few" is not the same as "no".
"causing grievous bodily harm" is more well defined than you think. The phrase is formal legal terminology with a clear and precise meaning, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grievous_bodily_harm
Using a program licensed under the HPL for activities that are _intended_ to cause the death of animals is prohibited. A program dedicated to ordering meat can thus not be HPL. You could of course order meat with a regular web browser, but that program _can_ be HPL since it is intended to browse the web, not to cause harm.
It doesn't seem to absurd to think that weapons manufacturers use some FLOSS libraries. Anyone that works with software probably uses some open source or FLOSS license some time or another. And while the missile (or whatever) is probably not HPL, the kicker is that it can't use any HPL components either.
Let's say that OpenCV (image processing library) was HPL (which it is not). Then, no matter what license the missile was being developed under (probably some proprietary XXX), it could not use OpenCV for it's guidance system.
If you publish FLOSS code under the HPL, it protects you from contributing (probably without knowing about it) to creation of products that are intended to cause harm.
It would seem that LGPL v3 is almost what I want but the "code in C++ headers" is an issue. libstdc++ uses GPL v3 with the gcc Runtime Library Exception, which is too restrictive because I want to explicitly allow proprietary plugins. Is there any existing license that essentially strips out the "Eligible Compilation" clauses of the Runtime Library Exception? I could do this myself but would be less than certain of the legal implications. I would prefer to use some text that's already been vetted.
Way ahead of you.
Quoting from http://www.peta.org/hpl.htm#pro_con [peta.org]:
"I personally consider the fact that HPL is incompatible with GPL as it's main disadvantage. Believe me, we have thought long and hard about ways to make the HPL GPL-compatible, but we have finally reached the conclusion that it is fundamentally and utterly impossible. Like most FLOSS proponents, I would like to see a widespread distribution and use of the code that I make available to the community; but I would rather take the risk of no one every using my code than letting a single person or organisation use it to cause harm. So, in conclusion, the ideological "harm-less" principle takes precedence over practical inconvenience and I side with the HPL. "
"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know yet." -Ambrose Bierce