without a Licence is not free! Your code is only useful, if other developers know that they can safely use it, without risking lawsuits.

If you are on , please check that your content is licenced under an OSI / FSF approved licence.

Thank you for caring about .

@codeberg if I were a developer in need of a license for my code, how would I find out which of those licenses is the best one for my project?

That's a tough question, we are going to add an article to the docs or our blog.
Most well-known and widely used licences are safe, for example copylefted ones like GPL, LGPL, also MIT (X11 & Expat), 3-clause BSD, usually the CreativeCommons licences ... but beware, not all are compatible with OSI / FSF and thus allowed on Codeberg, because they may not allow FreeCulture.
We know it's complicated, thus people started using Unlicence, WTFPL etc, but these may introduce legal trouble ...

@technicallypossible Until we have a guide on Codeberg, check out - it contains really useful information.

@codeberg @technicallypossible

WTFPL is listed in FSF:

WTFPL, Version 2 (#WTFPL):
This is a lax permissive non-copyleft free software license, compatible with the GNU GPL

I think you have to accept WTFPL if you want to comply with your criteria 😉

Unlicence and WTFPL are accepted, of course! But they are known to cause trouble in certain jurisdictions, thus many people advise against using them.

I just wanted to point out that the situation is so complex, that people started using those licences (WTFPL could even be considered an esoteric one), but this did not really improve the situation 😢

@codeberg I have looked at different licenses before and they are all great but how do I find out what's best for my project? Allow unlimited commercial use to be compatible with *BSD OSes, enforce copyleft to be compatible with Linux distros, and how does the German Urheberrecht play into all of that? Can I prevent some evil corporation or the military from using my code against vulnerable people? Licenses aren't easy and I can understand why people think "let's worry about licensing later"

@technicallypossible Totally! But it's important to understand that the topic is still mandatory else all your work might become useless, since no one can safely rely on it.

As mentioned, is a good starting point. For your example, I'd probably recommend GPL - commercial use allowed by disclosing changes to the source, it's copyleft and compatible.

To the latter question: Solving ethical matters in licences has been tried, but rather unsuccessfully. We advise against this. MIT appears to be the best license for people who really don't care about licenses.


What exactly do you mean by that? Do you mean

"only those specific licences explicitly mentioned on the OSI's and FSF's websites are allowed"

or do you mean

"only licences are allowed that comply with their definition of Free Software"?

@pixelcode Technically, we only allow licences that are OSI and / or FSF-approved at the moment, that means, all licences that are listed as Free Software licences by them (not only their recommendations, but the full list).

We have had some discussions about other licences and there is no final decision for an approval process yet. If you have a Licence in mind that is not listed, but should be considered as a Free Software licence, please let us know.

@codeberg whatever ones specific license choice is, understanding how to convey it is indeed essential. The absence of a license is not public domain but rather everything is "born" with maximum copyright restrictions by default unless otherwise stated, at least in Bern convention countries, and also public domain means a work can be proprietarized by anyone so is often a poor choice for foss.

Doesn't really matter what license you use (even "none"). It can still be proprietarized (is that a word?) by anyone.

Having worked in the industry and developed open source since before Stallman and Gosling had their little spat that led to the creation of the GPL; and watched the resultant civil war in the software development world (which is going on 40 years of open conflict) I am not at all ignorant about the nuances of open source licenses.  

Google has complied with the requirements of the GNU General Public License for Linux, but the Apache license on the rest of Android does not require source release. Google said it would never publish the source code of Android 3.0 (aside from Linux). Android 3.1 source code was also withheld, making Android 3, apart from Linux, nonfree software pure and simple.
-- Richard Stallman

If we want open source software, we'll just take it.
-- Steve Ballmer

We use the Unlicense. The reason we do so is because many corporate lawyers consider it ambiguous (because of those Bern convention countries) and won't touch it with a ten foot pole. Yet it is in the public domain in countries that recognise the validity of public domain and open source using an OSI approved open source license.

We wish to take advantage of those particular nuances. You are free to make your own choices.
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