[License-discuss] OSI approved license without original license and reproduction of notices required in redistributions?

Chuck Swiger chuck at codefab.com
Mon Jul 2 15:16:02 UTC 2012

On 7/1/2012 10:42 PM, Casey Rodarmor wrote:
> Is there an OSI approved license that does not require that the
> original license be included even in trivial redistributions, and does
> not require reproduction of any copyright, attribution, and other
> notices that may be present in the original work?

Nope.  The obligation to keep the copyright statement intact is typically 
required by law (see 17 USC section 506(c)(d) or your local equivalent), and 
the obligation to keep the license terms & disclaimer intact is a standard 
component of all-- or nearly all-- licenses.

It sounds like you're looking for "public domain", which may or may not be 
available depending on your local law.  Since public domain isn't always 
well-defined or available, using a simple permissive license is the next best 

> I would like to release my work without any restrictions whatsoever. I
> would consider a simple public domain dedication, but I wish to also
> include other non-restrictive features in the license such as a
> limitation of liability clause, a disclaimer of warranty, default
> licensing for contributions as in section 5 of Apache 2.0, and patent
> provisions as in section 3 of Apache 2.0.

The limitation of liability and warranty disclaimer are highly relevant to 
folks in the USA (see the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act); they may not be 
effective elsewhere.

Regardless, the Apache 2.0 license is a fine choice.

> My ideal license would be Apache 2.0, but with the sub-clauses in the
> redistribution section removed. I could take those out of Apache 2.0
> and rename it, but I am not a lawyer, and would like to avoid creating
> a new license if an existing one will do.

You can't remove Apache section 4 without replacing it with similar terms 
which grant folks the permission to reproduce the software, modify it, etc.

Perhaps consider the MIT or 2-clause BSD licenses if you want something 
smaller which is OSI approved.  Otherwise, perhaps take a look at the Beerware 
license, http://unlicense.org/ license, CC0, or WTFPL.


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