The MIT-Zero License

Initially published on 2010-07-10.

The Reason

It turns out that many Free Software authors, especially when writing something really simple, want to license it under an extremely permissive license, which would basically say, «do whatever you like with this».

Some of them resort to using licenses like WTFPL or the Beerware License, both of which are very unfortunate choices (WTFPL basically being one big profanity, and the Beerware License's wording being astonishingly careless), in case author wants to retain any hope of having his/her code used in a serious (and of course filled with lawyers and PHBs) business setting. And I think all Free Software authors desire that their code is used as widely as possible.

A more viable choice is CC0. However, despite having a short summary, it entails a lengthy «legal code» and like other CC licenses, is not specifically aimed to be used for computer programs.

So, some time ago I proposed another approach, and called it «The MIT-Zero License».

The Recipe

  1. Take the widely used, true and tried «MIT License»;
  2. Remove the only condition it has;
  3. Reword the preceding sentence so that it does not mention any conditions;
  4. Finished!

The Result

The MIT-Zero License

Copyright (c) <year> <copyright holders>

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy
of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal
in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights
to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell
copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is
furnished to do so.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR
IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY,
FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE
AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER
LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM,
OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN
THE SOFTWARE.

The Disclaimer

I am not a lawyer (IANAL) and this is not a legal advice, you are using (or not using) this at your own risk.

Links


mit-zero.txt · Last modified: 2013-10-08 10:44 UTC by rm