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digitalmars.D.learn - Slightly OT: Licensing questions from a FOSS newb

reply "Jarrett Billingsley" <kb3ctd2 yahoo.com> writes:
Okay, I'd really like to slap some kind of license onto MiniD now that it's 
getting pretty big and closer to some kind of 1.0.  What I want to know is 
if there's some kind of .. process or something that I have to go through to 
make my license _work_ or.. something like that.

I've decided to go with an MIT license 
(http://www.opensource.org/licenses/mit-license.php).  What I want to know 
is if all I really have to do is slap that at the top of all my source files 
in a comment block, or if there's something more that I have to do.  I mean, 
that's about all I've ever seen anyone else do.  I just don't know if 
putting the text of the license in all my source files is actually legally 
binding or what.

Thanks! 
Feb 21 2007
parent reply Tyler Knott <tywebmail mailcity.com> writes:
Jarrett Billingsley wrote:
 
 I've decided to go with an MIT license 
 (http://www.opensource.org/licenses/mit-license.php).  What I want to know 
 is if all I really have to do is slap that at the top of all my source files 
 in a comment block, or if there's something more that I have to do.

Yeap, that's pretty much all you need to do. If you really wanted to you could get your code formally copyrighted, but that's not at all necessary since implicit copyrights are just as binding as formal ones (at least in most of the world).
 I mean, that's about all I've ever seen anyone else do.  I just don't know
 if putting the text of the license in all my source files is actually legally
 binding or what.

Well, technically if the license is invalid then the people you're sharing the source with have *no* legal rights. What you're doing when you use a "copyleft" license is saying "Okay, I own this work's (in this case code's) copyright and you can use this work if you want but only under the terms of X license(s), otherwise all rights reserved" where X is/are whichever license(s) you choose for your code. Under most licenses can change the license(s) at any time, though only for your own code (because you don't own the copyright on the code of other contributors). I recommend reading the Wikipedia article on Copyleft if you want more information.
Feb 21 2007
next sibling parent Tyler Knott <tywebmail mailcity.com> writes:
Tyler Knott wrote:
  Under most
 licenses can change the license(s) at any time, though only for your own 
 code (because you don't own the copyright on the code of other 
 contributors).  

Bleh! Sorry, I mean to say "Under most licenses *you* can change the license at any time..."
Feb 21 2007
prev sibling next sibling parent "Jarrett Billingsley" <kb3ctd2 yahoo.com> writes:
"Tyler Knott" <tywebmail mailcity.com> wrote in message 
news:erj7gi$q3m$1 digitalmars.com...
 Jarrett Billingsley wrote:
 I've decided to go with an MIT license 
 (http://www.opensource.org/licenses/mit-license.php).  What I want to 
 know is if all I really have to do is slap that at the top of all my 
 source files in a comment block, or if there's something more that I have 
 to do.

Yeap, that's pretty much all you need to do. If you really wanted to you could get your code formally copyrighted, but that's not at all necessary since implicit copyrights are just as binding as formal ones (at least in most of the world).
 I mean, that's about all I've ever seen anyone else do.  I just don't 
 know
 if putting the text of the license in all my source files is actually 
 legally
 binding or what.

Well, technically if the license is invalid then the people you're sharing the source with have *no* legal rights. What you're doing when you use a "copyleft" license is saying "Okay, I own this work's (in this case code's) copyright and you can use this work if you want but only under the terms of X license(s), otherwise all rights reserved" where X is/are whichever license(s) you choose for your code. Under most licenses can change the license(s) at any time, though only for your own code (because you don't own the copyright on the code of other contributors). I recommend reading the Wikipedia article on Copyleft if you want more information.

Cool :) Thanks for the help!
Feb 22 2007
prev sibling parent =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Jari-Matti_M=E4kel=E4?= <jmjmak utu.fi.invalid> writes:
Tyler Knott kirjoitti:
 Jarrett Billingsley wrote:
 I've decided to go with an MIT license
 (http://www.opensource.org/licenses/mit-license.php).  What I want to
 know is if all I really have to do is slap that at the top of all my
 source files in a comment block, or if there's something more that I
 have to do.

Yeap, that's pretty much all you need to do. If you really wanted to you could get your code formally copyrighted

IANAL, but doesn't formally copyrighted mean that you put an explicit copyright notice on the files? At least in my country no further procedures are needed.
, but that's not at all
 necessary since implicit copyrights are just as binding as formal ones
 (at least in most of the world).

Author has implicit copyright to every piece of work he/she creates, but in this case Jarrett wants to publish something. The implicit copyright is too restricting for the users of the library so he wants to offer a license to give more freedoms to the users.
 What you're doing when
 you use a "copyleft" license is saying "Okay, I own this work's (in this
 case code's) copyright and you can use this work if you want but only
 under the terms of X license(s), otherwise all rights reserved" where X
 is/are whichever license(s) you choose for your code.

MIT is not a copyleft license. "Copyleft is a general method for making a program or other work free, and requiring all modified and extended versions of the program to be free as well."
 Under most
 licenses can change the license(s) at any time, though only for your own
 code (because you don't own the copyright on the code of other
 contributors).  I recommend reading the Wikipedia article on Copyleft if
 you want more information.

Unless the author has signed some NDA's, licensed patents, etc. he/she always has rights to relicense the software whenever he/she likes - AFAIK. The major differences in various licenses are the rights the licensee gets. I guess the MIT license is pretty clear. It's compatible with almost every other license and doesn't require much effort. Just add the notice to every file. It gives away almost all rights, but if that's what he wants, then it's totally ok.
Feb 22 2007