## Sunday, February 03, 2013

When I make code publicly available, I usually do it under the MIT License. Why? Because it is a so called copyfree license, which, in contrast to copyright, merely states that anyone is free to use the provided code, if they include the license (and thus preserving my name in the codebase). It is as follows:

Copyright (C) <year> <copyright holders>

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

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 OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS 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.


This, in contrast to copyright, does not restrict use of my code in other work, and in contrast to copyleft, does not force them to apply a specific license to their own code. It is thus a true free software license, allowing anyone to use my ideas for free - as long as they acknowledge my participation by including the license. Thus I enrich society by showing more examples of code, maybe help someone out on the project, and gain better reputation - instead of burdening it with pointless legal battles about something no one can really own. If you ever give out any code, use the MIT License, or at least a copyfree license.

[Edit 2013-04-24:  After reading tldr;legal, I've decided that the GPL is actually a better license, by making more software free as in freedom. I have thus changed most of my projects to the GPL, and I recommend that you read up on tldr;legal and decide for yourself what license fits your project best. I hope that you'll choose the GPL, though anyone should of course be free to do with their work as they please.]