I've been checking out the different licenses and I came around WTFPL. I understand the basic intention of the license. But how much appropriate is this license to use for any work?

It says,


Does it also mean that the potential user can sue me for something happened because of the software I've written?

I get this doubt because one more liberal license I came across was CC0. And it clearly mentions this scenario, So does MIT license. But I cannot see any of these in WTFPL.

up vote 7 down vote accepted

From the WTFPL FAQ:

Why is there no “no warranty” clause?

The WTFPL is an all-purpose license and does not cover only computer programs; it can be used for artwork, documentation and so on. As such, it only covers copying, distribution and modification. If you want to add a no warranty clause for a program, you may use the following wording in your source code:

/* This program is free software. It comes without any warranty, to
 * the extent permitted by applicable law. You can redistribute it
 * and/or modify it under the terms of the Do What The Fuck You Want
 * To Public License, Version 2, as published by Sam Hocevar. See
 * http://www.wtfpl.net/ for more details. */
  • But what about CC0? won't it cover artwork as well? – Prajwal Dec 22 '16 at 10:30
  • 5
    Yes. If you're asking "why create the WTFPL when there's CC0?", the WTFPL pre-dates CC0 (2004 v. 2009). – Stephen Kitt Dec 22 '16 at 10:34
  • 4
    So its safer to use CC0. Thanks. – Prajwal Dec 22 '16 at 10:40

The Berne Convention, of which most of the world is a signatory, states that copyright is assigned automatically to the creator upon the work's creation. Thus, if I create a piece of software, unless I specify otherwise, no one else is allowed to do anything with it.

Much of the time, this isn't what we want. Open-source licenses provide many freedoms to other people for our software.

However, most licenses are long and difficult to understand (which is why licensing is by far the most common topic here). The WTFPL exists to bypass the restrictions of the Berne Convention as simply as possible. That is all.

Does it also mean that the potential user can sue me for something happened because of the software I've written?

Per the faq:

By the way, with the WTFPL, can I also…

Oh but yes, of course you can.

But can I…

Yes you can.



I've covered a number of practical uses for attaching a license like the WTFPL in a response to a similar but more pointed question. Your claim that CC0 is more liberal is incorrect as CC0 comes with a number of limitations the WTFPL doesn't have such as limitations on:

  • Patent use;
  • Warranty;
  • Trademark use; and,
  • Liability.

In fact, WTFPL has no limitations whatsoever. And because WTFPL does not include a “Public Domain” dedication it may be used more freely in jurisictions where such a concept is unrealized. It's really that liberal.

Can you get sued? Sure. Though putting a disclaimer in any license doesn't change the fact anyone may sue you at anytime for any reason, however frivolous, despite what you may think.

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