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.

3 Answers 3


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, 2016 at 10:30
  • 11
    Yes. If you're asking "why create the WTFPL when there's CC0?", the WTFPL pre-dates CC0 (2004 v. 2009). Dec 22, 2016 at 10:34
  • 7
    So its safer to use CC0. Thanks.
    – Prajwal
    Dec 22, 2016 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 few of practical uses for attaching a license like the WTFPL in a response to a similar but more pointed question. The claim 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 restrictions whatsoever other than to change the license name if the license is changed. It's is also useful if you plan to dual-license software and don't want to fall into the permissive license attribution landmine, or copyleft just yet. And since there's no “Public Domain” dedication WTFPL may can make sense in jurisdictions where some law isn't recognized just yet.

Can you get sued? Sure. But putting a disclaimer in any license doesn't change the fact anyone may sue you at anytime for any reason. BUT IF YOU WANT YOUR UNCONDITIONAL LICENSE TO SCREAM A LITTLE 0BSD WILL GIVE YOU JUST THAT. PRACTICALLY SPEAKING.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.