Is it really free software ?

David Johnson david at
Wed Nov 7 02:36:46 UTC 2001

On Tuesday 06 November 2001 02:10 am, DeBug wrote:

>      Why is it necessary to copyright the software in order
>      to make it free ?

If there were a way to make your software non-copyrighted, then there would 
be no problem. But as I understand it, it is either impossible, or absurdly 
difficult, to release your works into the public domain.

Thus your only option from the outset is to accept the fact that your work is 
copyrighted. It would be nice to be able to formally declare your work to be 
in the public domain, but that's not the way it is.

If you want the next best thing, then simply use the MIT or BSD licenses. If 
even those are too restrictive, then simply state the following after the 
copyright line: "permission is granted to copy, distribute, modify or 
otherwise transform and/or transmit this work, without restriction." (I would 
also keep around some form of warranty disclaimer)

David Johnson
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