bottomy
I found out about [Unlicense](http://unlicense.org) only recently (probably about a month ago). When Github added a license option when creating a new repository, I noticed it. At the time I thought this was great and just what I was originally looking for. Since I felt just stating what I was going to release to be in the public domain was probably not the right way to go about it, it needs the legalese. So I had always just opted for a lax license instead.

I used it for one repo, but now I've been doing more research into donating to the public domain and I'm not sure if it's the best option. Since not all jurisdictions allow for things to be donated to the public domain (since some specify you cannot waive moral rights), and some don't even have a public domain. And looking at some big projects in the public domain like SQLite they still mention that some companies still won't use it unless it's actually licensed because lawyers don't believe that the authors specifying it to be under the public domain hold any real legal grounds (in other words, its waiver about making it be in the public domain means nothing and the project is still copyrighted and without a license they won't be able to use it). So in their case they offer a license for those that must have one.

So that's where the problem is for me, I would ideally like to release stuff into the public domain as the things I wish to release I want to be as open and flexible as possible, and for it to be easy to use and understand (licenses can be a little confusing at times). But if using something like Unlicense will actually make some people avoid it unlike a license (just a very lax one, so it still gives much the same rights to the receiver), then that becomes a problem and goes against what I want to happen. I see with [Creative Commons CC0](http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/.../legalcode) they use a license to fallback on if the waiver cannot be used. But using CC0 for source code seems to have mixed views. It also doesn't feel very appropriate to me for software usage as there's no clause releasing the author(s) of any liability.

The issue at the end of the day is I may use Unlicense but then I may additionally also need to include a fallback license and digitally sign the waiver. All of which just complicates the entire process. In which case I feel like I'd be better off from the beginning just using a lax license.

So what are your thoughts on all of this? The Unlicense project, releasing source code to the public domain, better alternatives, or if I've got anything wrong.
venam
I might have the wrong idea but I think that tagging code as public domain makes it appears loose, abused, ephemeral, and neglected.
There's already a huge list of licenses that are easy to incorporate with company works and that still gives credits to the authors or at least mention the name of the people that wrote the program. Choosing to "leave" your code in the open, without real owner, without a person to contact in case something happen, without an email to reach for bug report wouldn't be a smart move.
I'm not sure about the sqlite team workflow but for other projects the use of the "Unlicense" doesn't seem right.
It's not as if using a license will restrain other person from using or contributing to the project.
There's a huge display of thousands of licenses you just need to choose the one that fit in your specific case.
bottomy
It probably is mostly used for dead works. I feel it's just the simplest way to describe that the user can do whatever they want with it. But the problem is this doesn't seem to actually work, as I said, some jurisdictions don't actually allow one to waive their copyrights or moral rights. If it was able to work another benefit can be for things that are one off projects or small snippets, say you release some code only 40LOC and you want to make it as free as possible. If you were able to place that in the public domain that just simplifies it, whereas licensing it would just feel like overkill (the license would probably take up 1/4 of that file). But as there doesn't seem to be a simple option for doing that, the license is likely best. There also can be a good reason for large projects to be put in the public domain, compared to licensing; when it comes to the ideals of the project and how copyright law can work or even change overtime (e.g. it copyright could be passed onto someone that didn't share the same ideals of the project; although that is where a copyleft license could come in but a copyleft license is then adding restrictions).

If you do put something in the public domain there's nothing stopping you from mentioning the authors or how to contact you. Just someone is free to remove those authors, or even try to claim they authored it themselves. And SQLite doesn't use Unlicense, they have their own waiver and other statement.
venam
I still don't agree with leaving everything to the public domain.
While rethinking about it, whatever file you include with your source code, like the Unlicense, would still be considered a license as it would state what kind of authorization other people would have over the code and what they would need to agree to use it.
Leaving the code in the wild is too harsh. As I stated earlier it doesn't give the right impression about how much you care about your work.
If you have the time you can write a license that would gather all your philosophical ideas, a license that doesn't burden company nor the coder.
For example you could create a license without the part about contacting the owner and the copyleft.
You might only want to keep the Reliability part and the advertising part.

Check out [this](http://paste.unixhub.net/index.php/rVBEF)
kopri
WTFPL The Do What The Fuck You Want To Public License. I agree with Venam though it's better to use a permissive license that allows the user to do what they want to the code, but retain authorship credit so people can email you wherever they find your code.
bottomy
The problem with attempting to write my own license is I don't know nearly enough legal stuff to do something like that. So the most likely (and worst) outcome that would come from that is the license not being legally valid at all and so people would stay away from using the code for that reason (because they wouldn't legally have permission).

I typically just stick with FreeBSD style licensing, though I don't really care about all the clauses but would still leave them in so people know right away what they have to agree to (as it's a common license much like GPL, MIT, etc.).

Personally i've stayed away from WTFPL myself, since I've yet to see how it copes with projects that have been adopted into other large commercial ones. The simplest license I like is beerware but again for the same reason as WTFPL I've never used it.
BigE
(15-08-2013, 11:02 PM)NeoTerra Wrote: The only trick part is making sure that you have closed all the loopholes.
So basically, the part that the lawyer profession was invented for?
[Image: a0QZxXO.gif]




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