[License-review] veto against Unlicense

Langley, Stuart Stuart.Langley at disney.com
Sun May 17 22:57:36 UTC 2020

Josh Berkus wrote:
> Oh, thank you.  Is this unique to the Unlicense, or a problem it shares
> with the other very short licenses (e.g. BSD, MIT, etc.)?
> --
> Josh Berkus

I honestly have not read every OSI approved license...bless those people who have.  Its not length of the license, just the words.  As McCoy pointed out, BSD doesn't use the familiar "grant" verb but I've become comfortable with "are permitted" as words that convey something that sounds like a license.  MIT uses "permission is hereby granted"...it doesn't get easier than that.  And as Pam and McCoy both point out, risk perception is relative and wide use without any problems is a big factor in getting comfortable with any particular wording.  

Unlicense falls on the side of "this is not a license" to me largely because I read the second paragraph as a description of what the author thinks public domain means, not a clear intent to convey rights.  If it becomes an OSI approved license, I still will advise against using software encumbered with the Unlicense.    

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