Needs a license #73

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petersondrew opened this Issue Jun 15, 2012 · 21 comments

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In order for people to really make use of your project (in my case I'm planning on distributing a heavily modified fork under the MIT license), you really need to license it.
My personal preference is MIT, but you could go with another permissive license and be fine for most people.

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johnpbloch Jun 15, 2012

This doesn't cover it? I mean, sounds pretty permissive to me.

This doesn't cover it? I mean, sounds pretty permissive to me.

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petersondrew Jun 15, 2012

"None" or "no license" is the same as "all rights reserved", which is about as strict as you can get.

"None" or "no license" is the same as "all rights reserved", which is about as strict as you can get.

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petersondrew Jun 15, 2012

If you need more info, Jeff has a nice write-up here: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2007/04/pick-a-license-any-license.html

If you need more info, Jeff has a nice write-up here: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2007/04/pick-a-license-any-license.html

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EmilStenstrom Jun 29, 2012

I think what the author intends is to release the code into the public domain. But I agree with @petersondrew that it would be much better if that was clearly stated.

I think what the author intends is to release the code into the public domain. But I agree with @petersondrew that it would be much better if that was clearly stated.

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btipling Aug 18, 2012

You need a license.

You need a license.

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petersondrew Aug 18, 2012

@johnpbloch I really don't mean to sound demanding, but for anyone to fork or use your work they need to be explicitly granted certain permissions, which are usually covered by standard open-source licenses. As I stated in a previous comment, the terms "none" or "no license" are actually the strictest forms of copyright. By stating "None" under license in the README, you have explicitly denied anyone else's legal right to use and/or modify your code, and it is therefore not open source.

Please, please consider checking out the super-simple MIT License and dropping that into your README or a LICENSE file. We all really appreciate the hard work you put into this project and it would be a shame for some of us to not be able to use it (in a corporate environment for instance) because it is not open source.

@johnpbloch I really don't mean to sound demanding, but for anyone to fork or use your work they need to be explicitly granted certain permissions, which are usually covered by standard open-source licenses. As I stated in a previous comment, the terms "none" or "no license" are actually the strictest forms of copyright. By stating "None" under license in the README, you have explicitly denied anyone else's legal right to use and/or modify your code, and it is therefore not open source.

Please, please consider checking out the super-simple MIT License and dropping that into your README or a LICENSE file. We all really appreciate the hard work you put into this project and it would be a shame for some of us to not be able to use it (in a corporate environment for instance) because it is not open source.

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caniszczyk Dec 3, 2012

+1, please consider adding the MIT License

+1, please consider adding the MIT License

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lucb1e Jan 8, 2013

You might also want to use the WTFPL licence. Anything is better than this.

lucb1e commented Jan 8, 2013

You might also want to use the WTFPL licence. Anything is better than this.

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phillipoertel Jan 15, 2013

+1

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xdissent Feb 28, 2013

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Sorry guys, I can't make any kind of legal claim until Microsoft clears up their own licensing: http://blog.reybango.com/2013/02/04/making-internet-explorer-testing-easier-with-new-ie-vms/comment-page-1/#comment-127129

As I read it currently, even using the modern.IE images as they are clearly intended by MS is not compatible with their own licensing. Until all of that gets sorted out, I can't license ievms in a traditional sense. I hope you understand.

Owner

xdissent commented Feb 28, 2013

Sorry guys, I can't make any kind of legal claim until Microsoft clears up their own licensing: http://blog.reybango.com/2013/02/04/making-internet-explorer-testing-easier-with-new-ie-vms/comment-page-1/#comment-127129

As I read it currently, even using the modern.IE images as they are clearly intended by MS is not compatible with their own licensing. Until all of that gets sorted out, I can't license ievms in a traditional sense. I hope you understand.

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petersondrew Feb 28, 2013

@xdissent The license would cover the code in this repository; you're not redistributing the virtual pc images yourself and sub-licensing them. The person running the ievms script is responsible for abiding by Microsoft's terms when they download the images using ievms or manually from Microsoft's website.
You're clear to license the code with any standard OSS approved license.

@xdissent The license would cover the code in this repository; you're not redistributing the virtual pc images yourself and sub-licensing them. The person running the ievms script is responsible for abiding by Microsoft's terms when they download the images using ievms or manually from Microsoft's website.
You're clear to license the code with any standard OSS approved license.

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xdissent May 8, 2013

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That's a naive concept of software licensing and rarely ever true in practice. If I write something that in anyway interfaces with a GPL lib, my code is now GPL - unless it's a kernel module (which is literally an arbitrary distinction in the GPL made by Linus - because apparently that can happen without arbitration at any time). I can get away with it if it's LGPL code, but only sometimes (again, fairly arbitrary). What license does Virtualbox operate under? Would it matter? I'm in at least one literal sense "linking" to MS binaries. Does that count? Are you a cop?

All of that GPL gone viral bullshit originated from the OSS community. Imagine what kind of heinous licensing landmines the obviously better paid MS lawyers have laid!

I do not know anything about software licensing models except 3 things - they're designed to either make money or impede progress for market position, and they're written by people who spent more money on college than I did on my house. I'd like to have nothing to do with them, and as a human, who wrote a thing, I feel like I'm entitled to say "I don't know, and I don't really give a shit." Remember, "public domain" existed long before it needed fixing.

"Just use a MIT/BSD/Apache license and STF" they said. "Developers will be happy!" they said. Well sir, I don't know the distinction there either and I don't care to, and you're wrong. Developers will never be happy. It's part of the gig.

I want you to take my code, use it, add to it, delete it, modify it, sell it, claim you wrote it, buy drugs and ammunition with it - seriously, I don't care. If your corporate entity has a problem even fathoming the concept of "whatever" then I can only respond "whatever, man." And Morrissey is probably crying somewhere, but not because of you.

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xdissent commented May 8, 2013

That's a naive concept of software licensing and rarely ever true in practice. If I write something that in anyway interfaces with a GPL lib, my code is now GPL - unless it's a kernel module (which is literally an arbitrary distinction in the GPL made by Linus - because apparently that can happen without arbitration at any time). I can get away with it if it's LGPL code, but only sometimes (again, fairly arbitrary). What license does Virtualbox operate under? Would it matter? I'm in at least one literal sense "linking" to MS binaries. Does that count? Are you a cop?

All of that GPL gone viral bullshit originated from the OSS community. Imagine what kind of heinous licensing landmines the obviously better paid MS lawyers have laid!

I do not know anything about software licensing models except 3 things - they're designed to either make money or impede progress for market position, and they're written by people who spent more money on college than I did on my house. I'd like to have nothing to do with them, and as a human, who wrote a thing, I feel like I'm entitled to say "I don't know, and I don't really give a shit." Remember, "public domain" existed long before it needed fixing.

"Just use a MIT/BSD/Apache license and STF" they said. "Developers will be happy!" they said. Well sir, I don't know the distinction there either and I don't care to, and you're wrong. Developers will never be happy. It's part of the gig.

I want you to take my code, use it, add to it, delete it, modify it, sell it, claim you wrote it, buy drugs and ammunition with it - seriously, I don't care. If your corporate entity has a problem even fathoming the concept of "whatever" then I can only respond "whatever, man." And Morrissey is probably crying somewhere, but not because of you.

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xdissent May 8, 2013

Owner

Sorry to have generalized - mad props to the intent of the MIT/BSD style licenses, but my point stands about the authors' tuition and the price of my house.

Owner

xdissent commented May 8, 2013

Sorry to have generalized - mad props to the intent of the MIT/BSD style licenses, but my point stands about the authors' tuition and the price of my house.

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brianarn Dec 19, 2013

For what it's worth, it's a somewhat common practice for open source software to download binary distributions that are protected by copyright, much in the way that this project does.

One specific example is detailed here: https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2013/10/30/video-interoperability-on-the-web-gets-a-boost-from-ciscos-h-264-codec/

Cisco is "opening" the H.264 codec by creating their own binaries and making the publicly available. Firefox will use these by downloading them via code, not anywhere in their software distribution. The license for Firefox isn't changing in any way because of this approach.

From what I can see, there's zero reason that their approach is any different from what you're doing. Microsoft is happily distributing these files for test purposes, and your code is simply grabbing their binary distribution.

Please consider this another 👍 for adding some sort of license. Something that says "The shell script in this distribution is public domain" even, in a license file, would make it a lot more comfortable for people to use this software.

It's not that you need to apply some sort of specific license (MIT or WTFPL or whatever), so much as there needs to be something clearly in the repo that indicates the intent of reuse, and that's commonly in a license file. The Jeff Atwood article above details why it's important.

For what it's worth, it's a somewhat common practice for open source software to download binary distributions that are protected by copyright, much in the way that this project does.

One specific example is detailed here: https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2013/10/30/video-interoperability-on-the-web-gets-a-boost-from-ciscos-h-264-codec/

Cisco is "opening" the H.264 codec by creating their own binaries and making the publicly available. Firefox will use these by downloading them via code, not anywhere in their software distribution. The license for Firefox isn't changing in any way because of this approach.

From what I can see, there's zero reason that their approach is any different from what you're doing. Microsoft is happily distributing these files for test purposes, and your code is simply grabbing their binary distribution.

Please consider this another 👍 for adding some sort of license. Something that says "The shell script in this distribution is public domain" even, in a license file, would make it a lot more comfortable for people to use this software.

It's not that you need to apply some sort of specific license (MIT or WTFPL or whatever), so much as there needs to be something clearly in the repo that indicates the intent of reuse, and that's commonly in a license file. The Jeff Atwood article above details why it's important.

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thedavidmeister Sep 17, 2014

Would you consider the unlicense?

http://unlicense.org/

This is free and unencumbered software released into the public domain.

Anyone is free to copy, modify, publish, use, compile, sell, or
distribute this software, either in source code form or as a compiled
binary, for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial, and by any
means.

In jurisdictions that recognize copyright laws, the author or authors
of this software dedicate any and all copyright interest in the
software to the public domain. We make this dedication for the benefit
of the public at large and to the detriment of our heirs and
successors. We intend this dedication to be an overt act of
relinquishment in perpetuity of all present and future rights to this
software under copyright law.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND,
EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF
MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT.
IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR
OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE,
ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR
OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

For more information, please refer to <http://unlicense.org/>

Would you consider the unlicense?

http://unlicense.org/

This is free and unencumbered software released into the public domain.

Anyone is free to copy, modify, publish, use, compile, sell, or
distribute this software, either in source code form or as a compiled
binary, for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial, and by any
means.

In jurisdictions that recognize copyright laws, the author or authors
of this software dedicate any and all copyright interest in the
software to the public domain. We make this dedication for the benefit
of the public at large and to the detriment of our heirs and
successors. We intend this dedication to be an overt act of
relinquishment in perpetuity of all present and future rights to this
software under copyright law.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND,
EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF
MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT.
IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR
OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE,
ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR
OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

For more information, please refer to <http://unlicense.org/>
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jamesshore Sep 21, 2015

👍 No license == no permission to download your code == can't use it.

👍 No license == no permission to download your code == can't use it.

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ghost Dec 18, 2015

Sorry for my ignorance, but couldn't someone just fork the code and then change it just enough to make it "theirs" and THEN license it.

ghost commented Dec 18, 2015

Sorry for my ignorance, but couldn't someone just fork the code and then change it just enough to make it "theirs" and THEN license it.

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petersondrew Dec 18, 2015

You can't change the license for code you don't own, that's the problem with there being no license. We technically can't even fork the code.

-----Original Message-----
From: "Timothy" notifications@github.com
Sent: ‎12/‎18/‎2015 2:31 PM
To: "xdissent/ievms" ievms@noreply.github.com
Cc: "Drew Peterson" peterson.drew@gmail.com
Subject: Re: [ievms] Needs a license (#73)

Sorry for my ignorance, but couldn't someone just fork the code and then change it just enough to make it "theirs" and THEN license it.

Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHub.

You can't change the license for code you don't own, that's the problem with there being no license. We technically can't even fork the code.

-----Original Message-----
From: "Timothy" notifications@github.com
Sent: ‎12/‎18/‎2015 2:31 PM
To: "xdissent/ievms" ievms@noreply.github.com
Cc: "Drew Peterson" peterson.drew@gmail.com
Subject: Re: [ievms] Needs a license (#73)

Sorry for my ignorance, but couldn't someone just fork the code and then change it just enough to make it "theirs" and THEN license it.

Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHub.

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jamesshore Dec 19, 2015

Perhaps this is what you really intended. You gotta have something though. "None" doesn't cut it.

DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT TO PUBLIC LICENSE

Version 2, December 2004

Copyright (C) 2004 Sam Hocevar [sam@hocevar.net]

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.

DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT TO PUBLIC LICENSE TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR COPYING, DISTRIBUTION AND MODIFICATION

0. You just DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT TO.

http://www.wtfpl.net/

Perhaps this is what you really intended. You gotta have something though. "None" doesn't cut it.

DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT TO PUBLIC LICENSE

Version 2, December 2004

Copyright (C) 2004 Sam Hocevar [sam@hocevar.net]

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.

DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT TO PUBLIC LICENSE TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR COPYING, DISTRIBUTION AND MODIFICATION

0. You just DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT TO.

http://www.wtfpl.net/

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ghost Dec 19, 2015

But my point is that most courts have ruled that computer code is hard to copyright. The language is syntactic and semantic. So if i want to be "creative" and i decide to write a c# FOR loop like this

on each( one of these x like y){
public static void integer T ==== eleven
}

It wont even compile. If I get 100 C# developers in a room and ask them all to write a FOR loop they are all going to be the same except for the counter variable name.

I guess I dont see how looking at his code on the screen and going, "hey, thats a neat idea" and then typing out the code yourself is wrong or could be considered copyright infringement. I mean, if I go on stackoverflow and say, hey why doesn't my code work:

x = y + z

And someone looks at it and goes hey I could use that in my project and they cut and paste it is it stealing? Or does stackoverflow have some kind of an implied public license when you post something and since github is supposed to be for open source code do they have some kind of implied license?

I am so interested in this because I just came from a very large company where they didnt care about licensing. I would ask, do we have a license for this, and everyone would go, "I dont know". Im being curious not argumentative.

Thanks.

On Dec 18, 2015, at 4:59 PM, Drew Peterson notifications@github.com wrote:

You can't change the license for code you don't own, that's the problem with there being no license. We technically can't even fork the code.

-----Original Message-----
From: "Timothy" notifications@github.com
Sent: ‎12/‎18/‎2015 2:31 PM
To: "xdissent/ievms" ievms@noreply.github.com
Cc: "Drew Peterson" peterson.drew@gmail.com
Subject: Re: [ievms] Needs a license (#73)

Sorry for my ignorance, but couldn't someone just fork the code and then change it just enough to make it "theirs" and THEN license it.

Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHub.

Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHub.

ghost commented Dec 19, 2015

But my point is that most courts have ruled that computer code is hard to copyright. The language is syntactic and semantic. So if i want to be "creative" and i decide to write a c# FOR loop like this

on each( one of these x like y){
public static void integer T ==== eleven
}

It wont even compile. If I get 100 C# developers in a room and ask them all to write a FOR loop they are all going to be the same except for the counter variable name.

I guess I dont see how looking at his code on the screen and going, "hey, thats a neat idea" and then typing out the code yourself is wrong or could be considered copyright infringement. I mean, if I go on stackoverflow and say, hey why doesn't my code work:

x = y + z

And someone looks at it and goes hey I could use that in my project and they cut and paste it is it stealing? Or does stackoverflow have some kind of an implied public license when you post something and since github is supposed to be for open source code do they have some kind of implied license?

I am so interested in this because I just came from a very large company where they didnt care about licensing. I would ask, do we have a license for this, and everyone would go, "I dont know". Im being curious not argumentative.

Thanks.

On Dec 18, 2015, at 4:59 PM, Drew Peterson notifications@github.com wrote:

You can't change the license for code you don't own, that's the problem with there being no license. We technically can't even fork the code.

-----Original Message-----
From: "Timothy" notifications@github.com
Sent: ‎12/‎18/‎2015 2:31 PM
To: "xdissent/ievms" ievms@noreply.github.com
Cc: "Drew Peterson" peterson.drew@gmail.com
Subject: Re: [ievms] Needs a license (#73)

Sorry for my ignorance, but couldn't someone just fork the code and then change it just enough to make it "theirs" and THEN license it.

Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHub.

Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHub.

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muelli Dec 19, 2015

On Fr, 2015-12-18 at 23:37 -0800, Timothy wrote:

Or does stackoverflow have some kind of an implied public license
when you post something and since github is supposed to be for open
source code do they have some kind of implied license?
Yes:   http://choosealicense.com/no-license/

"For example, if you publish your source code in a public repository on
GitHub, you have accepted the Terms of Service which do allow other
GitHub users some rights. Specifically, you allow others to view and
fork your repository."

http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/12527/do-i-have-to-worry-about-
copyright-issues-for-code-posted-on-stack-overflow

muelli commented Dec 19, 2015

On Fr, 2015-12-18 at 23:37 -0800, Timothy wrote:

Or does stackoverflow have some kind of an implied public license
when you post something and since github is supposed to be for open
source code do they have some kind of implied license?
Yes:   http://choosealicense.com/no-license/

"For example, if you publish your source code in a public repository on
GitHub, you have accepted the Terms of Service which do allow other
GitHub users some rights. Specifically, you allow others to view and
fork your repository."

http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/12527/do-i-have-to-worry-about-
copyright-issues-for-code-posted-on-stack-overflow

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