2

The MIT License permits Commercial use, Distribution, Modification, and Private use, while requiring the inclusion of the License and copyright notice and limiting Liability and Warranty (source: https://choosealicense.com/licenses/mit/).

I want to add one thing: that all modifications must be indicated explicitly with date and by whom.

That way, my open software can be freely modified outside of a repository but with accountability.

Is there an existing license that offers close to these terms? Or may I simply edit the MIT License and include it in my software as "modified from the MIT License"?

1

[...]

I want to add one thing: that all modifications must be indicated explicitly with date and by whom.

[...]

Clause 2 of zlib license comes to rescue that:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zlib_License#Text

2. Altered source versions must be plainly marked as such, and must not be
   misrepresented as being the original software.

Is there a license similar to MIT that also requires changes to be indicated?

[...]

Is there an existing license that offers close to these terms? [...]

Yes, there is, zlib/libpng license1.

[...]

[...] Or may I simply edit the MIT License and include it in my software as "modified from the MIT License"?

Best not to create any newer licenses until extremely necessary; complicates the landscape further[Citation needed].

See also the libpng license in action.

1: If there is a libpng license version 2 (it seems there is), I mean the classic one.

  • Zlib only requires the version to be marked as modified. My version requires the date and by whom for each set of modified lines, so it makes modifiers accountable. I think mine is better, but I'm willing to go with Zlib. It's simpler and better, I think, than the GPLs, the CCs, and others. Thanks. – David Spector Sep 10 at 19:52
  • Before you go with Zlib or a custom MIT, take a deep breath and read ALv2 entirely, then read blog posts about it, then read it again. Don't rush a license decision until you are completely sure of what you want. It's better that you take your time. You don't need to add a license until you are sure of what to choose. Read the FSF and OSI guides for choosing a license. – 13042 Sep 10 at 19:57
  • TL;DR ALv2 grants you everything you already have in zlib/libpng license, plus (1) prevention against patent treachery and (2) a framework for nesting CLAs. Before choosing a zlib/libpng license, make sure you aren't going to need any of those two things in your use case. – 13042 Sep 10 at 20:08
  • Have a couple of example ICLAs/CCLAs. – 13042 Sep 10 at 20:14
  • The examples clearly show a different use case: contributors to a large project. I'm just planning to publish unique software on github and possibly a dedicated site. These licenses are long, verbose, and oriented towards contributing to a project. I may have not explained my use case sufficiently. If anyone steals my code to patent it, I win in court, since (by definition) I published first. Zlib is great and I think anyone publishing open source code should consider it. Short, clear, and comprehensive enough (read the government advice about copyrights--it is minimal). – David Spector Sep 11 at 13:15

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