103

There are several issues: License proliferation - The more licenses we have floating around, the more work everyone has to do to understand them. Case law for one license will not necessarily apply to a differently-worded license, even if they're both intended to achieve the same effect. And if everyone starts writing their own licenses, this becomes ...


46

I cannot say whether this would be considered open source, but it would not be free software. Free software confers, amongst other things, the right to modify the software; the FSF refer to this as freedom one. It imposes, and allows of, no constraint in the application of this right; constraints on the four freedoms are generally allowed only when they ...


28

In addition to the excellent (and accepted) answer posted by Kevin, I want to point out the following: It is sometimes argued that having license behaving predictable in a court of law only matters if you want to restrict somebody. With the possible exception of a disclaimer of warranty (which may or may not be legal, depending on jurisdiction), there is ...


18

Do not use non-standard opensource licenses The other answers are great, and show that what you want to do is probably not too far down an OSS route but here is a different viewpoint. There's a reason you use MIT license at the moment, because it fits (the majority, noted) of license requirements you are happy to put on your project. Others who use OSS ...


17

Developers inside big corporations (and perhaps even smaller ones) have lawyers and managers dictating them conditions for using (professionally) external free software. A "crayon license" is very likely to be forbidden in such contexts (probably such developers have a list of acceptable licenses). So if you want your code to be widely used, I suggest to ...


13

Forbidding sale of the software has precedent in OSI-approved licenses, for example SIL-OFL 1.1 says: Neither the Font Software nor any of its individual components, in Original or Modified Versions, may be sold by itself. But there is reason to believe the OFL is an outlier and wouldn't be OSI-approved if submitted today. Also, the OFL is only intended ...


13

Adding a requirement to notify you when a fork is being made renders a license non-free. The reasoning behind this is that the requirement discriminates against people that, for whatever reason, are not able to send the required notification (for example, because their government doesn't allow free communication with foreigners). If being notified is not a ...


11

Generally, the question of whether artwork forms a combined work with software that displays has been addressed in What do I need to share if I include CC-BY-SA artwork in my software?. If your art does not make a derivative work with your code, it's okay if the licenses are not compatible (but it's not completely clear under what circumstances code and art ...


9

Please please please don't use that license. To answer your main question, no, you don't need to register a license for it to "count". You just include it with the software it's licensing. To answer "are there any potential problems": yes there are. You are not allowed to distribute compromised versions of this app. Define "compromised". ...


8

Do not create your own license. It will probably miss many of the legal subtleties, and end up either allowing much more than you want or much less. It will be incompatible with other licenses, leaving your work as an isolated island, useless to anybody else and abandoned. Search for "choose open source license" (one of the first hits is http://...


7

Deciding whether or not a license contains any legally invalid terms (or terms whose practical semantics differ from your intent) is an incredibly difficult problem. This is a job for a skilled copyright lawyer. You wouldn't ask strangers on the internet, "Do the schematics for this rocket I'm building look like they'd be able to escape Earth's gravity and ...


7

An important part of the BSD license is the warranty disclaimer. You might think it's a breath of fresh air and entertaining to the users to apply something like the WTFPL. Then you wind up being sued because someone lost some data and they are blaming that software, arguing that its documentation amounts to some sort of guarantee about what it will or won'...


6

This is a valid license, but being so short and nonstandard it is not entirely clear. You can use this tool in any project, for any purpose. May you distribute this tool? This is probably intended by the author. May you modify the tool? This is where it gets tricky. It can be argued either way. It is therefore safer to assume that you may not publish ...


5

The Geogebra license is nonsensical. You are absolutely correct: "GPL for non-commercial use only" is an impossible combination. The GPL specifically forbids the imposition of any additional licensing restrictions on top of the GPL: You may not impose any further restrictions on the exercise of the rights granted or affirmed under this License. ...


5

Theoretically everyone is allowed to create their own license. But it is highly recommended to contact a lawyer, because one can make much things wrong. But you don't need to register your license anywhere. But it has to be published with the product (for example as a LICENSE.txt file)


5

This is legally possible but socially inadvisable. The exact wording of licensing terms is generally copyrightable, insofar as it is possible to state the same terms using different words. (I will not attempt to consider whether the legal language in the GPL or CC licenses passes or fails this standard.) The terms, as abstract permissions and requirements, ...


4

To take a slightly different tack, also my first post here so be gentle. Given the wider complexities of license fine tuning perhaps leave the licence alone and make the software send an ACK to a server somewhere when it is used. While this is usually objectionable behaviour and can send users away it may be acceptable in this situation. Make it do this ...


4

The package you link contains an actual version of zlib - which in turn comes with a readme which has a license section. The zlib-license in itself is very permissive (basically a "do what you want") and only asks for attribution when you use it and indication of changes when you re-distribute changed source code. This noted, the package itself is still of ...


4

The only way to argue that the license doesn't allow you to distribute modified versions is to argue that when the second paragraph says "use", it means "use" in the technical sense, that is, as opposed to distribution. You would also have to argue that the "as-is" in the first paragraph means without modifications rather than without support or warranty. ...


4

Oh, good; yet another attempt by the crayon-wielding world to mesh free software ideology with the idea of non-commercial use. How well they all work. IANAL/IANYL, but I agree with you that the licence is non-free, for the reasons you have stated. However, I notice that s6, the section that allows re-distribution under any OSI-approved licence provided it ...


3

Other answers point out the conflict between what you want, and many free/open source/copyleft licenses. But there is a way that might at least partly help you to achieve what you want. Open licenses relate to the rights of a person given a copy of the code. They don't specify or limit how you yourself distribute the code. For example, you can put a ...


3

One particular problem is that your home-knit license is probably incompatible with everything else, and thus creates an island that is useless to everybody else, even if the intent is to be very free. Read also David Wheeler's essay on the licence proliferation too.


3

This is really problematic, AFAICT. I think you nailed it. You should file a ticket with NLTK to discuss this further. The key question is whether there is any code of the original sed-based tokenizer that was used there or not.


3

As mentioned in an answer to your other question, while "copyfree" is not a widely used term, some "copyfree" licenses are very much used: CC-0, the MIT license, the Simplified BSD license, the Unlicense. I make this answer based on my own experience of checking the license of each software I come accross (I have personnally never seen the COIL license) and ...


3

Other answers point that your license would be open source but it wouldn't be free anymore, and that people don't want to read non standard licenses. Both are true, and good points. However, there is a better reason why you shouldn't do what you intend to do: your code wouldn't be useful for many people anymore. MIT license is compatible with GPL and similar ...


2

If you want your code to stay free/open as per the usual definitions, you should stick to the plain MIT license that you already use, and put your request to be notified somewhere else prominent on the project pages. People who really value your work will at least try to honor your request, and the others you probably don't care about anyways. In any case, ...


2

What would be good reasons to not use code just because of a less common license? I can't imagine a developer doing that, so it must stem from considering the legal aspects. So I guess it comes down to whether its percieved as a "crayon" license. Criteria for deciding that could be: was it drafted by a competent lawyer or legal team? is it recognised by ...


2

No. It's freeware. You've been granted permission to run the program at no cost. While the word "use" is not defined, "as is" restricts the definition to exclude modification, and without permission to modify, there isn't even implied permission to distribute. I think the license intended to grant permission to modify, and distribute, but misplacement of "...


2

IANAL/IANYL, but the licence permits "any use". This will include modification and distribution of modified versions, because those are both uses normally constrained by copyright, and thus included in a copyright licence's definition of "any". I see no reason why the work or derivatives thereof should not be used in GPL code. Consider the Fair License, ...


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