All I want to know is what licensing allows me, the program author, to keep "author credits"(so no one can rip me off), and make all software created from this program to remain free (like Ruby License)

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    All Free Software and Open Source licenses require author/contributor contributions to be kept. But as you don't explain with enough detail what you mean by "remain free", I'm voting to close this as insufficiently clear. Feb 17, 2016 at 12:24
  • Some copyright regimes recognize some "author rights", including the right to be known as the author of the work. And those rights can't be given up. Others don't recognize such rights.
    – vonbrand
    Feb 18, 2016 at 0:14
  • When I said "contributions" above I meant to say "attributions"! Feb 18, 2016 at 7:34
  • @curiousdannii Alright, why don't you provide some examples of "free." He gave an example of a licence that he wanted - why is that not sufficient?
    – Zizouz212
    Feb 18, 2016 at 21:53
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    @Zizouz212 Sure he wants something like the Ruby License, but in what way? Free in the Free Software sense? Monetarily? Or does he want the unusual requirement of the Ruby License that redistributions should be placed "in the Public Domain or otherwise ... Freely Available"? We need more details. Feb 19, 2016 at 0:10

1 Answer 1


There are several permissive licenses which allow other people to do practically anything they want as long as they retain your original copyright notice. A few examples:

  • MIT license
  • BSD license family
  • Apache license

But these licenses allow to relicense the software under a non-free license. If you want to ensure that your work remains free, you should use a strong copyleft license like the GNU Public License or the Mozilla Public License.

  • Thanks, really helpful, just wanted to be sure before start to roll it Feb 18, 2016 at 23:58
  • Read David A. Wheeler's essay on the matter, and choose a license. You might rummage around in OSI or the FSF, and take a peek a BSD for different takes on licensing.
    – vonbrand
    Feb 19, 2016 at 3:12

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