@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 ...
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, choosealicence.com 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.
@firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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
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