I'm not a native English speaker and licenses are difficult to understand for me. I'm looking for a license that requires any people who use the code covered under the license to say "this code came from lwl59438cuoly" or some variation of that (even if person x takes the code from me and person y takes it from person x, person y should still have to say it came from me).

I would also want it so that they cannot hold me liable or trademark (not sure if this is the correct term - basically they cannot claim the code as theirs) the code. Other than that, they can do anything.

What license would come closest to these requirements? I'm ok with more restrictions but would prefer to have the above as base restrictions.


Open source licences generally require that any copyright notices (they do include the author) have to be retained. The package (at least source, but often also the binaries) are required to ship with licence and warranty information, which today will naturally include where to get upstream sources and the author's contact.

Asking to display author and such when running/using the program can become a major hassle, enough to discourage use. Many programs give some splash screen when starting up stating name, version, author, hints at the license; others have some sort of About command or menu entry giving the above.

Please do not knit your own license, use one of the major licences that have been vetted by real lawyers to be (reasonably) airtight. Check out e.g. OSI's list and the FSF's take, and, much more important, take care that whatever license you select is at very least GPL-compatible (yes, the document is quite old by now, but still very relevant). An overview of the most important licenses gives some detail if the OSI/FSF documents turn out overwhelming by sheer license counts.

  • 1
    So essentially, what i asked for is covered by every major license (BSD, MIT, Apache, Mozillav2)? Sep 15 '20 at 22:41
  • 2
    @lwl59438cuoly, where it concerns Copyright <year> <name> lines, yes. The Apache license also has a mechanism for more general attributions. Sep 17 '20 at 17:29

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