A simple licensing question. - Psychology, Philosophy, and Licenses

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cjm
Long time nixers
Nixers,

If you were to create a new programming project personally, what license would you choose? GPL, BSD? And why?
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rwzy
Members
Nice question goPhir.

GPL because it pisses off BSD folks?
venam
Administrators
This is always a question that throttles my mind when I'm working on a project.
It mainly depends on the usage of the program and the expectations of it.

If you really, but really don't care about what happens to your software you'd better go for public domain.
Otherwise, you'll need to compare the alternatives.
xero
Long time nixers
i <3 me some creative commons

https://creativecommons.org/choose/
kirby
Long time nixers
BSD or better. I've had this discussion on the irc before, the GNU GPL simply isn't practical, and chances are you don't have the legal power nor the care to actually track down someone who illegally uses your code in a closed-source project, so why bother?
rwzy
Members
The GPL is avoided by many (as in companies/corporations) because they don't want to risk it just in case. And then for those who do use it in derivatives, it becomes like a cancer, the eventual plan being it embraces, extends and extinguishes everything so that those who aim to avoid it may even one day be forced to use it, and therefore they become defeated and eliminated either way. :D

Or if you take a moral high ground like rms, the bsd is basically saying you can be naughty if you want. But the gpl says you can't be naughty, so therefore it's overall gooder, &there4; reason enough to use it. Although I agree this probably ain't practical but I guess the point is that you shouldn't nevertheless be specifically allowing everyone to be naughty if they want. And for organisations like fsf, I guess it isn't completely impractical since they have the sflc.
vypr
Long time nixers
Licenses I use:
  • ISC
  • MIT
  • BSD
Code:
-----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK-----
Version: 3.1
G d s+:++ a--- C++ UB P+ L+ !E !W+++ !N !o K--? w++ !O M++ !V PS+++ PE-- Y++ PGP+ !t !5 !X !R tv b+ DI D++ G e- h r y--
------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------

buddhist ~ esperantisto ~ communist
z3bra
Grey Hair Nixers
WTFPL
pizzaroll1
Long time nixers
BSD. I really don't care about anything anyone does with my code unless they claim they made it. In actual fact, I wouldn't be able to stop someone from cloning a repo, compiling some packages and claiming they made them, so maybe I should just be realistic and Creative Commons Zero license everything. I'd still like to think I have some power, so I still do use BSD, regardless of whether I can actually enforce it.
my website: kaashif.co.uk
xero
Long time nixers
(26-11-2014, 02:30 PM)pizzaroll1 Wrote: BSD. I really don't care about anything anyone does with my code unless they claim they made it. In actual fact, I wouldn't be able to stop someone from cloning a repo, compiling some packages and claiming they made them, so maybe I should just be realistic and Creative Commons Zero license everything. I'd still like to think I have some power, so I still do use BSD, regardless of whether I can actually enforce it.

then go with one of the creative commons **attribution** licenses.

people can do what they want w/ it as long as they give you credit as the original author.
jkl
Long time nixers
Random update:

I am currently in the process of writing a software that might severely damage your data if I make a mistake, so I wouldn't feel well with a license without a warranty clause at least this time - no WTFPL this time (and the WTFNMFPL looks fishy - two clauses contradicting each other, eww).

The ISC/MIT license would be an option, but they still add one "YOU MUST", namely the need to keep my copyright notice/license/whatever. I don't care about that, especially as it annoys me a lot to add a whole rat's tail of CAPITALIZED law prose to my code if I want to use some other people's libraries. If you'll ever find yourself in my position and you don't absolutely need juvenile wordings with slight legal ambiguity, the 0BSD or MIT-0 licenses might be worth a look:

https://spdx.org/licenses/0BSD.html#licenseText
https://spdx.org/licenses/MIT-0.html#licenseText

I think I'll use these a lot in the future.
zge
Long time nixers
My stance is:

- For small project or one-file-programs: Public Domain, aka. CC0
- For anything larger, where I invest more time: GPL

If you want to make something permissive, go the full way, but if you don't take the established free software license.
mrtn
Members
Most of the times? Unlicense - because I don't care.

If it's a bit bigger and i start caring: MIT
zge
Long time nixers
(19-02-2019, 01:10 PM)mrtn Wrote: Most of the times? Unlicense - because I don't care.

You really shouldn't be using Unlicense. It's vague and problematic in some countries without a public domain in the US sense.
jkl
Long time nixers
As in: almost every other country, perhaps.
mrtn
Members
What's a better/more suitable suggestion for "lol, do whatever you want with that code" then?
jkl
Long time nixers
The MIT-0 (-> #11) would work.
mrtn
Members
Thanks for the suggestion. I've just skimmed over it and I'll use it from now on! :)
jkl
Long time nixers
You're perfectly welcome!
zge
Long time nixers
(26-02-2019, 11:01 AM)mrtn Wrote: What's a better/more suitable suggestion for "lol, do whatever you want with that code" then?

I'd suggest CC0. It's also recommended by the FSF for public domain code: https://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html#CC0. It's a bit longer than unlicense or MIT-0, since it has legal fallbacks to universally approximate the public domain as well as possible.
jkl
Long time nixers
You are not advised to use the CC licenses for code. They were not made for that.
zge
Long time nixers
(28-02-2019, 08:48 AM)jkl Wrote: You are not advised to use the CC licenses for code. They were not made for that.

Yes, generally CC isn't for code, but CC0 is the exception. See May I apply CC0 to computer software? If so, is there a recommended implementation?.
jkl
Long time nixers
Where is the difference between CC0 and other pseudo-Public Domain licenses?
zge
Long time nixers
(28-02-2019, 04:28 PM)jkl Wrote: Where is the difference between CC0 and other pseudo-Public Domain licenses?

As mentioned above, my understanding is that this section is the critical part:

Quote:3. Public License Fallback. Should any part of the Waiver for any reason
be judged legally invalid or ineffective under applicable law, then the
Waiver shall be preserved to the maximum extent permitted taking into
account Affirmer's express Statement of Purpose.

So as compared to Unlicense, for example, you'll ensure that no matter what the actual legal situation is, you'll get as close as possible. Other issues with Unlicense can be found here.
jkl
Long time nixers
A good sign of being old is if you start to use the CDDL (as I did last week). It combines the troll factor of being incompatible with the GPL with rip-off security as companies need to - at least - state that they use (and closed) your code somewhere.

Background: On Twitter, someone who did not think about his choices thoroughly enough has complained that Amazon uses his non-attribution licensed code for a new product of theirs without mentioning him. Well, no sympathy here - nobody enforced the license on him. The tweet made me think about licenses again, though, and the CDDL combines the best of both worlds in my opinion, unless I missed a license in my research. I won’t relicense all of my code now, but I might choose more freely in the future.
stratex
Members
(20-02-2019, 01:53 PM)zge Wrote:
(19-02-2019, 01:10 PM)mrtn Wrote: Most of the times? Unlicense - because I don't care.

You really shouldn't be using Unlicense. It's vague and problematic in some countries without a public domain in the US sense.
In many countries you can't give away something to public domain while you are still alive, and even if you could, there are ways to restore your ownership/copyright through the local court. So CC0 is not always applicable, this license will most likely be avoided by the corpo world.

As for me, I didn't write anything substantial yet, but if I were, I would pick no-license at all. The reason is - I don't want Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, or any other big corporation to use my code in any way or form whatsoever. But I wouldn't care for regular folks like you and me to use it even commercially. I don't think there are license for that.
Big corpo already on top of everything, not paying taxes, not subjects to anti-monopoly laws, with big lobbying power, why, WHY should we help them to gain even more power??? I think it doesn't make sense. BSD is absolutely crazy license, if you are so opinion-less about freedom, rights, justice or anything else, you might as well go and work for free at any big corpo, at least you will get free meal for your code.
zge
Long time nixers
(28-10-2020, 08:32 AM)stratex Wrote: In many countries you can't give away something to public domain while you are still alive, and even if you could, there are ways to restore your ownership/copyright through the local court. So CC0 is not always applicable, this license will most likely be avoided by the corpo world.

To quote the licesne text:

Quote:Should any part of the Waiver for any reason be judged legally invalid or ineffective under applicable law, then the Waiver shall be preserved to the maximum extent permitted taking into account Affirmer's express Statement of Purpose.

So that's exactly what it attempts to solve. Sure, there are ways to restore it, but it's still better than UNLICENSE in this regard.

(28-10-2020, 08:32 AM)stratex Wrote: But I wouldn't care for regular folks like you and me to use it even commercially. I don't think there are license for that.

There are anti-capitalist, non-comercial, racially motivated, etc. licenses, but they usually get very vauge, and are obviously not free software, so there's less interest in that. When I work on something a bit more serious, I usually use GPL, since even if a Corp decided to use it, they (ideally) wouldn't just get all the work for free, but any work they do would be shared back, whereby they "repay" the developer and the users, in some sense.