Weird software licenses you may have not tried yet

6 Jan 2020


So, you've just made your first software project and are wondering how to license it. Well, here's a quick guide to some options you may want to (not) take.

Traditionally there are approximately 4 different paths for licensing:

  1. GPL-ish (GPL 2/3/2+; AGPL; LGPL)
  2. BSD-ish (4-clause, 3-clause, MIT, Apache)
  3. Whatever your community uses (e.g. Artistic license for Perl; EPL for many Clojure projects; Dual MIT/Apache 2.0 for a lot of Rust; etc)
  4. "We don't do none of that hippy shit, just give us all your money and we'll call it even" proprietary licensing.

There's also the path less trodden, path number 5, and that's the ones I want to talk about today. They come in many flavours including:

You could pick one of those. I can't stop you. But for the sake of everyone's sanity, don't add to the long list of existing licenses and pick one of the options 1-3 at the top of this, because otherwise you've just made life much harder for anyone wanting to use your software, and that's no fun for anyone.

Previously: How to get a 10x developer Next: munger: Scan-to-cloud for local scanners