licensing

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Open Source

Choosing an open source license can be challenging, but it is important to make some statement about your software's free (or non-free) status. Without a license, the implication is that others are not free to use your code.

Public Domain

  • CC0 is an international-friendly public domain declaration (thus more world-friendly than just the US-centric "public domain", MIT, BSD)
    • The IndieWeb.org wiki both requires all contributions to be CC0, and provides the wiki under CC0.
    • Mozilla recommends using CC0 for standards specifications.
    • Tantek ร‡elik uses CC0 for open source projects and specifications.
    • Q: Aren't CC licenses intended for prose rather than code?
      • A: Some CC licenses are, but "CC0 can be used for both, and Mozilla's lawyers have reviewed it" per [1] (as noted in IRC[2])
  • User:snarfed.org releases many of his projects (e.g., Bridgy) with the simple statement "This project is placed in the public domain."
    • KevinMarks_: CC0 is PD with better internationalization
  • Unlicense: simple text discliaming any copyright, and explicitlly allowing use for any purpose. More explicit and professional-sounding than the WTFPL.

Permissive

Permissive licenses generally require attribution and that the original license text be included in redistributions, but do not require that derivative works remain open source.

This category seems to be by far the most popular among IndieWebCamp participants

(10:58:48 PM) bear: i've used in the past: MIT, BSD 2-clause, MPL and plain ol' public domain
(10:59:25 PM) bear: MPL and Apache2 if I know it will be used commercially

Copyleft

Copyleft licenses require that derivative works remain open source, and often require they retain same license. For that reason, some critics consider these licenses "viral".

External Links