Re: Bug#294559: A very permitive license.
Måns Rullgård wrote:
Netbiff may be redistributed in any form without restriction.
Netbiff comes with NO WARRANTY.
It doesn't explicitly allow distributing modified versions. Maybe
"any form" was intended to include modifications, but it's not
obvious. Why not just use the BSD or MIT license?
Because the BSD and MIT licenses have one restriction: you must give
credit and include the existing license and conditions when
redistributing. I don't want that. I want what I am distributing to be
equivalent to something in the public domain. That is, I want you to be
able to use it to do whatever you wish without any sort of restriction
or the hassle of keeping track of where it came from.
For example, let's say you copy and paste one line of code from the
program. That's probably not enough to be copyrightable, and so you
don't have to care. What about 5 lines? Depending on the particular
lines, it's probably not a big deal, and you don't have to care.
But you don't really know how much is "too much" until a court decides.
So I want to make it clear that you can copy as much or as little as you
want without restriction. Ideally I would simply put the code into the
public domain, but there's clearly no official way to do that, and it
seems to be up for debate whether such a thing is even possible from a
The terseness of my license was an attempt to avoid confusion. Anything
longer than a sentence that is not one of the standard licenses is going
to confuse people. Thus I decided not to simply take the MIT license and
cut off the parts I don't like.
Does all that make sense? I'm happy to change the license to:
Netbiff may be redistributed in any form, with or without modifications,
without restriction. Netbiff comes with NO WARRANTY.
if the debian-legal consensus is that it's sufficiently free. My
original license was something along the lines of "Netbiff is released
into the public domain." This is probably sufficient to avoid me
actually suing anyone, but it's perhaps legally confusing enough to be
not worth it.
Suggestions are welcome. I'm trying to make life as easy as possible on
anyone who wants to use my code.