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[Short] Licensing your code


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#1 Lupus590

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Posted 01 March 2016 - 10:35 PM

Disclaimer
I am not a lawyer and have no form of qualification in any legal sector. If you are a lawyer and identified something that I have said is wrong then please correct me.

A very helpful website
I am a big fan of this website http://choosealicense.com/ which puts licenses in simple terms. As this is for ComputerCraft projects, I would recommend keeping to the simpler licenses (such as MIT). Whichever you choose, I would recommend reading the full license text and not just the summary information.

I don't want a license
By not providing one you implicitly reserve all rights to your code (see http://choosealicense.com/no-license/), this means that your users can not (legally) use your code. Quite often people who don't provide a license want to reserve no rights, in which case you should try the Unlicense.

Adding the license to your code
It is recommended that you post the full license at the top of each file which makes your code. I can understand the reason for this but also realise how much of a nuisance it will be (sometimes the license will be longer than the code it deals with). Instead, I would advise having a link to the license you are using. I would also recommend that you put the license in you forum post (I have a tutorial on making one of those too).

Someone posted code but I couldn't find a license
As said above, not providing a license defaults to all rights reserved. Your best option would be to point them to this thread so that they can choose their own license.
If that takes too long then you may want to try some guesswork, they shared their code so one could presume that they want others to use it. If you want to modify it then it would be polite to not redistribute your modified version. Or you could avoid the legal grey area and write your own program which does the same thing.

Can I do something outside of the license with my code? What about changing the license or having multiple licenses?
A license is an agreement between you and other users. If the code is yours, you are not bound by the license which you have chosen, meaning that you can do anything with your code. In fact, you can have two or more licenses for the same code or project to different people or even change the license. You can even provide two licenses side by side, allowing the user to pick which one the want to use.

As for changing the license, if people have an earlier version of the project they must still use the older license, however if they update then they should use the new license.

Licenses change versions too, some licenses have clauses which allow the user to use a newer version of the same license even though the project was placed under the older version of that license. (I belive GPL does this).

I have different things in my project (such as code with artwork) can the be licensed separately?
Yes, so long as you are clear about what license applies to which parts of the project.
Example, say you have made a mod for MineCraft (perhaps it's a new ComputerCraft peripheral). You have two parts to your project, the code which makes it work and the artwork - the models and textures that players see in-game. Your code can be under one license and your artwork can be under another one (may I suggest creative commons?)

I'm licensing something that's not code
Sometimes a software license can work for something which is not software, in fact, some open source hardware use licenses made for software. Just read the license that you want to use and think to yourself "does this fit my project?"

If it's artwork of some kind then you'll be better of using creative commons, they have their own website to guide you through the licensing process: https://creativecomm...hare-your-work/

Documentation can fit in both categories, and there are some licenses made for documentation.

More information can be found here: http://choosealicens...m/non-software/

Edited by Lupus590, 12 January 2017 - 09:14 PM.


#2 Creator

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 08:36 AM

Nice. Another useful tutorial.

#3 CrazedProgrammer

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 08:43 AM

Thanks!
This seems to be quite a gray area in the community and this clears it up significantly.
Is GNU GPL V2/V3 a little bit too control-heavy if I just don't want people copying my code without giving credit?
Maybe MIT with an extension will work better.

#4 SquidDev

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 10:11 AM

View PostCrazedProgrammer, on 02 March 2016 - 08:43 AM, said:

Thanks!
This seems to be quite a gray area in the community and this clears it up significantly.
Is GNU GPL V2/V3 a little bit too control-heavy if I just don't want people copying my code without giving credit?
Maybe MIT with an extension will work better.

Quote

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
This (and many license agreements) are often broken within the CC community, but it does mean that people have to include the copyright notice, and so your name, with the distributed program. I'd say GPL is pretty heavy for CC: I'd suggest MIT or Apache.

Edited by SquidDev, 02 March 2016 - 10:11 AM.


#5 EveryOS

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Posted 04 April 2016 - 01:44 PM

Can and Should I use the provided licenses at my free will?

#6 H4X0RZ

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Posted 04 April 2016 - 01:53 PM

I like the WTFPL :3 http://www.wtfpl.net/

#7 EveryOS

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Posted 04 April 2016 - 02:00 PM

View PostH4X0RZ, on 04 April 2016 - 01:53 PM, said:

I like the WTFPL :3 http://www.wtfpl.net/
Could we please be at least a bit more serious...

#8 Lignum

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Posted 04 April 2016 - 03:14 PM

View PosteveryOS, on 04 April 2016 - 02:00 PM, said:

Could we please be at least a bit more serious...

Believe it or not, it is a pretty serious licence. Although it's pretty uncommon, you can find a couple of projects that use it on the internet.

#9 Lupus590

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Posted 04 April 2016 - 03:32 PM

Licenses are not limited to the ones I've linked. I will say this about WTFPL though, it may not be taken seriously in a court setting either. That said, these are ComputerCraft projects we are talking about, your entire case is going to be seen as a joke.

Edited by Lupus590, 04 April 2016 - 03:34 PM.


#10 Konlab

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 02:11 PM

Licenses are 100% useless on these forums because nobody will really license (go in office and pay monthly i think it's 20€/product) things

#11 Lupus590

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 02:57 PM

I can't find any information even hinting that you need to pay to apply a license to a product (such as a computer program).

https://en.wikipedia...oftware_license

Software licenses are between the person/s who made the software and the person/s who are using it. No one else needs to be involved.

Edited by Lupus590, 08 April 2016 - 03:02 PM.


#12 Konlab

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 04:32 PM

View PostLupus590, on 08 April 2016 - 02:57 PM, said:

I can't find any information even hinting that you need to pay to apply a license to a product (such as a computer program).

https://en.wikipedia...oftware_license

Software licenses are between the person/s who made the software and the person/s who are using it. No one else needs to be involved.
Yes but for you to be able to show that the software is yours for example in a proceeding you have to have it registered and that costs money and you have to pay it for every single country that you want to be licensed in. It is a human right, however, so I don't understand why has it to be like this.

#13 Lupus590

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 04:41 PM

While registering that a product is yours is the easiest way to prove ownership, I have a feeling that it's not a legal requirement.

#14 Konlab

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 06:54 PM

View PostLupus590, on 08 April 2016 - 04:41 PM, said:

While registering that a product is yours is the easiest way to prove ownership, I have a feeling that it's not a legal requirement.
Of course it's not. But unprovable license is useless

#15 Lignum

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 09:10 PM

To my knowledge, the licence defines what rights the developer would like the consumer to have. However, for those rights to be actually granted, a copyright must be registered, which costs money. If you do not have a copyright, your licence is meaningless from a legal perspective. However, I'd assume that the forum mods would be happy to take down any programs with infringements.

#16 Lupus590

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 09:13 PM

Copyright is free and automatic in the UK source. Although, the internet has a habit of making legal stuff a lot more complicated as it spans country boarders.

This is the same in the USA too: https://en.wikipedia...ation_procedure

for both registration is not required (although it probably will make legal action easier)

Edited by Lupus590, 08 April 2016 - 09:19 PM.


#17 Konlab

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Posted 09 April 2016 - 10:09 AM

So it's just my country that has stupid copyright system. >:D

#18 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 09 April 2016 - 12:23 PM

View PostLupus590, on 08 April 2016 - 09:13 PM, said:

Copyright is free and automatic in the UK

This is the same in the USA too:

for both registration is not required (although it probably will make legal action easier)

To my limited understanding, one difference between countries is how "easy" it is to prove you're the copyright holder. Take poor man's copyright, for example.

#19 Lupus590

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Posted 10 June 2016 - 10:06 PM

OP edit: Added guidance for code which doesn't have a license

#20 FoxData

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 07:24 PM

I will be sure to license FoxData's products with this





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