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Why not a BSD/MIT license?

Allison Randal
April 25, 2006 12:24
Why not a BSD/MIT license?
Message ID:
Question from: < 

> I come from the keep it as simple as practical school.
> Berkeley and MIT have pretty good lawyers. If the BSDs can be  
> distributed
> with significantly simpler copyrights and licenses... why do we  
> need to make
> things more complicated?

The BSD and MIT licenses are good, free licenses. The choice between  
that style of license and a more "copyleft" license largely depends  
on your goals for your project.

Would you care if <some company> took your source code, made changes  
to it, shipped a proprietary version, and refused to release the  
source code for their changes?

Would you care if <some company> prosecuted one of your project's  
users for patent infringement because they used the free version, in  
an attempt to get the user to switch to the company's version, or in  
an attempt to make money off the lawsuit? (Legitimate uses of  
software patents exist, but these aren't.)

If the answer to either of these questions is "Yes", you want a  
license with more detailed terms than the BSD or MIT licenses provide.

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