28

GPL licenses are legal documents, so you modify them or ignore their terms at your own risk! GNU.org has an FAQ addressing this: Why does the GPL require including a copy of the GPL with every copy of the program? (#WhyMustIInclude) Including a copy of the license with the work is vital so that everyone who gets a copy of the program can know what ...


26

Programmers.SE has a similar question: Can I remove all-caps and shorten the disclaimer on my License? Tim Post's answer (which he says was derived from advice from a lawyer) says: The caps allow you to say 'no way could they have missed the disclaimer, it is hardly fine print!' This is important in a license or EULA that non-lawyers must read and ...


25

For the Apache 2.0 License, there is both the legal code, and what you need to "apply" the license to the work in question. Having a license file provides the legal code. That's great, but it doesn't tell me the specifics... does that license really apply here? When did the license take effect? The Apache page goes on to instruct you how to place it in ...


14

The copyright line isn't actually part of the license, it's a separate entity. So changing that doesn't change the license. In fact "©" is the correct form, so that change at least counts as an improvement in my book. Beyond that though I'd stick to the canonical form of the license if there is one. The MIT license itself has many slight variants, so the ...


9

I'm not aware of any jurisdiction that has a law that explicitly states that a license notice must be included in each file, or conversely that it need not be included in each file. In all countries that have ratified the Berne convention, all works are subject to copyright, whether they include a copyright notice or not. (A copyright notice may help, ...


7

It is recommended in many places, including by the license writers, to include the license header as well as the license file. Some reasons for this are: it clearly demonstrates what the license applies to it points to the full license The license file itself can then contain solely the license, without having to list everything it applies to.


7

From section 4 sub-section a, You must give any other recipients of the Work or Derivative Works a copy of this License There's no requirement of where it should be. Google's Play Music uses some Apache 2.0 licenses. They display them in Settings > Open source licenses. I've seen some apps have put a link called Legal Information on the about dialog ...


6

Beware of projects which claim to be open source but don't have a standard license approved by the FSF or approved by the OSI. Some people misunderstand what "Open Source" actually means. It is a very common misconception that simply allowing people to look at the source makes it open source. It doesn't - that's called "Source Available". To be really open ...


6

It depends upon the license, and you can find out by reading the license. Many, such as Apache-2.0 require the license to accompany binary distributions, but some certified as Open Source don't. Some (for example zlib, libpng) ask politely for credit. libjpeg requires attribution, but in order to get certified as Open Source they promised not to enforce ...


6

There is no "exact format" as most licenses let you free in how to organize their notices. One common pattern is to concatenate the different LICENSE in your own LICENSE file, starting with your own license information and an explanation that the following are the license notices of the various dependencies. This is also something that you see a lot in ...


6

I am not a lawyer, but I would recommend against having the full text of the MIT License in both the README and LICENSE files. Just like with real code, duplication can be a maintenance hazard. If you feel that you must talk about the license in the README, I would just state the copyright and that the project is licensed under the MIT License and leave it ...


6

These changes are not material: The license document and the license are different entities. The GPLv2 document has the following structure: The name and version of the license. The copyright and a license for the license document: “Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.” A ...


6

The footer of the Unlicense web page indicates that the entire page (including the text of the license) is licensed under CC0 Public Domain Dedication. However, if it weren't licensed that way, the legal principle of estoppel in general prevents someone from punishing you for performing an action that they permitted you to do. The Unlicense web site says: ...


5

You may freely omit the Appendix. From the Apache License 2.0: Redistribution. You may reproduce and distribute copies of the Work or Derivative Works thereof [...] provided that You meet the following conditions: a) You must give any other recipients of the Work or Derivative Works a copy of this License; and... And from section 1: "...


5

It depends on the license! Some licenses' texts specify what can be done with them; e.g. the GPL v3 starts with Copyright (C) 2007 Free Software Foundation, Inc. http://fsf.org/ Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not allowed. So you're allowed to copy the whole document, ...


5

Yes. It is not fair to ask the user to search for the license terms and hoping he picked the right one, as he has to follow this license.


5

No. From the GPL: Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not allowed. The preamble is just a few percent of the text, I would think it could not make any significant difference, could it?


5

The year is part of the copyright notice, not the license. It's important to understand that copyright notices are not very important now, after the widespread international ratification of the Berne Convention. Per the Berne Convention, copyright is automatic when a work is created. You cannot accidentally remove or invalidate your copyright by incorrectly ...


5

Files and authors can have many-to-many relationships: a file may have many different authors. I suppose you could enumerate the list of copyrights of each and every file in a master list somewhere, but that sounds like a lot more work than simply keeping each list of copyright notices within its respective file. Even in the case of a single author, this ...


5

When using longer licenses like GPL and Apache it is common to point to a full copy of the license but the shorter ones like BSD or MIT are normally kept whole. There are no strict rules on where you place the full license info, it is just common to place short licenses in full and longer ones as a reference. You can see that this question hints that not ...


5

You can absolutely do that and it is fairly common. A file called LICENSE has no special legal significance. It is the responsibility of a user of the software to obtain necessary licenses, so the absence of a particular file doesn't give them any special permissions – if they don't find the license in the Readme, they cannot use the software. Actually, ...


4

I agree with the other answers on the principal - it should be easy to find, although I'm not sure the examples his answer provided are are indeed the most common. Projects created on (i.e., by) GitHub have their licenses placed in a file named LICENSE (no suffix) in the project's root directory. Another common idiom for GitHub projects is to use LICENSE.md ...


4

This is really about a practical problem caused by the way GitHub's forking works, together with how the gh-pages branches automatically creates a public page. If you believe that this arrangement makes it far too easy1 for users to accidentally republish your website against your wishes, then by all means look for a different hosting arrangement as you've ...


4

This isn't really relevant for Open Source Stack Exchange, but as far as the installation of documentation on a Unix-style system goes, I'd simply adapt the FHS location for documentation to /usr/local: install the documentation in /usr/local/share/doc/gitless. As apsillers says, you (as a user) don't need to keep a copy of the license along with the binary....


4

First, modern copyright law imposes no requirement to include a copyright notice whatsoever. You could include no copyright notice, and your work would be just as covered by copyright law as a work with a copyright notice. So, yes, it's likely fine to use a domain name in any copyright notice that you choose to include, with a few caveats. While your ...


3

The BSD 2-clause license is really permissive. The only condition which applies to distribution of source code is this one: Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer. The three parts of the license (the copyright notice, the list of conditions and the disclaimer) must all ...


3

Your question is answered right on their site's footer: Demo Source and Support. All rights reserved. This line (All rights reserved.) is a vague and general assertion statement which tries to assert all possible rights on the code/software to the copyright holder. This essentially means that you have ZERO rights to use the downloaded code or software ...


3

Some licenses, like Apache 2.0 as you noted, recommends including a copy of the license, or some shortened version, in each file. It's best if you can follow these recommendations, but as long as it's clear what file falls under what license, you don't need to follow any convention. The reason why some licenses recommend this is often because they operate on ...


3

Some well known licenses (e.g. the GPLs) are included as part of the Debian base installation (in the base-files package), and are in the directory /usr/share/common-licenses/. Packages that are licensed under one of those licenses reference the corresponding license location path in the file /usr/share/doc/pkgname/copyright. I assume this satisfies the ...


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