Monday, December 26, 2011

Sooner or later, software licenses

Sooner or later, as a software developer (or even as a server admin) you'll have to deal with software licenses. You just can't escape it.

For the uninitiated, a software license defines what you can do with a piece of software. As for the case of a developer, it defines what someone can do with YOUR software. There's a lot of licenses freely available in the internet like BSD, GPL and LGPL. The discussion of permissive, not-so-permissive, free-but-closed, etc. families of licenses will be like writing a research paper. That's too much work for me.

In any case, these licenses are a bit thick or has too much legalese which sometimes I don't like. So, I found sometime that's easier to read and people to understand, the DBAD license.

Quoting Phil Sturgeon,
"As developers we all want to protect our code from dicks that try to steal, sell, infringe or just generally rip us off. For this we have licenses like GPL, MIT, etc.
Sometimes however, you release a project where you just don't care what happens to the code. For this Sam Hocevar created the WTFPL which is a brilliant license.
For those of you who want something in between, try the DBAD license."
Here's the full verbatim text of the license.


                    Version 1, December 2009

 Copyright (C) 2009 Philip Sturgeon

 Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim or modified
 copies of this license document, and changing it is allowed as long
 as the name is changed.

                  DON'T BE A DICK PUBLIC LICENSE

  1. Do whatever you like with the original work, just don't be a dick.

     Being a dick includes - but is not limited to - the following instances:

 1a. Outright copyright infringement - Don't just copy this and change the name.
 1b. Selling the unmodified original with no work done what-so-ever, that's REALLY being a dick.
 1c. Modifying the original work to contain hidden harmful content. That would make you a PROPER dick.

  2. If you become rich through modifications, related works/services, or supporting the original work,
 share the love. Only a dick would make loads off this work and not buy the original works
 creator(s) a pint.

  3. Code is provided with no warranty. Using somebody else's code and bitching when it goes wrong makes you a DONKEY dick. Fix the problem yourself. A non-dick would submit the fix back.