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I'd like to license my creative works that are not code (including the project's documentation) under a license that is like the MIT license, but does apply to non-code. The CC BY is too big to fit anywhere (if modified) and has extra clauses about termination and DRM and other stuff I'm not comfortable with, while the CC0 obviously doesn't cover attribution and is also long if I were to modify and include it anywhere. Crude modification of the MIT license to show what I mean:

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

The above copyright notice and this permission notice (including the next paragraph) shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Work.

THE WORK 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 WORK OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE WORK.

I DO NOT intend to use this! What I mean is I'm looking for a well-established license that's basically equivalent to this, and the CC0 happens to be too permissive, while the CC-BY happens to be too restrictive.

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  • "to deal in the Software without restriction" - Given your new term "Work", that should probably be "to deal in the Work without restriction".
    – Brandin
    Jul 4, 2023 at 6:40
  • In any case I'm not sure if this tweak is a good idea. For your use case, what's wrong with CC0? creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/legalcode.txt
    – Brandin
    Jul 4, 2023 at 6:46
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    Also note that CC BY lets users include the URI of the license instead of a copy. "You must include a copy of, or the Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) for ... this License". creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/legalcode.txt I didn't see the restrictions about DRM. And the section about Termination seems like it's intended mainly for lawyers and courts. Basically, if someone violates your license, I suppose you (as the rightsholder) still want the option (in principle) to sue him, and I suspect that kind of legalise is there to strengthen the chances for that to be legally possible.
    – Brandin
    Jul 4, 2023 at 6:52
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    @Brandin minor but somewhat important point: CC-BY 4.0 is preferred. Perhaps more major point: the bits about "effective technological measures" are the DRM bits. Jul 4, 2023 at 10:39
  • It seems I did a phrasing oopsie, I edited the question body. Making my own license was never the intention, I just want something as close to that exact level of permissiveness as possible within the realm of established licenses.
    – Nomagno
    Jul 4, 2023 at 17:01

2 Answers 2

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Please don't do this. I'm glad you want to make your creations available as free culture, but creating your own licenses is not good in that case.

Of course, you can create your own license, no one will forbid you to do so. But ask yourself some questions:

  • Am I familiar enough with copyright law to write a license text that will work for my works and those of others?
  • If my license has errors, will I accept the loss of e.g. attribution?
  • Do I want all my works to be available under a license that no one knows and will have to make an effort to read it?
  • Are there justifications for another license and a contribution to license proliferation?

If all answers are yes: Create your own license.

Note that CC-BY requires a license URL OR the text , so you can just write "This work (here the title if any) by (here your name) is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. License: creativecommons.org/licenses/by /4.0". It's so simple.

As for the license you provided: you still use the word Software in one place. In addition, the original MIT license when applied to creative works should also work.

This is not legal advice

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You can use the OSI-approved Fair License, with SPDX identifier Fair. It meets your requirements of being a free permissive license for general creative works (not just software), that maintains copyrights and requires attribution.

Fair License (Fair)

<Copyright Information>

Usage of the works is permitted provided that this instrument is retained with the works, so that any entity that uses the works is notified of this instrument.

DISCLAIMER: THE WORKS ARE WITHOUT WARRANTY.

If your creative works are in individual human readable files, you can also use the GNU All Permissive License aka the FSF All Permissive License, with the SPDX identifier FSFAP.

Copying and distribution of this file, with or without modification, are permitted in any medium without royalty provided the copyright notice and this notice are preserved. This file is offered as-is, without any warranty.

If what you want to license is documentation, you can also consider the FreeBSD Documentation License. However, you may need to adapt it slightly.

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