Yesterday I mentioned the disturbing trend of our society to take what can legally be taken. Common courtesy be damned. I really think people ought to consider the consequences of screwing their neighbor, but hey. That’s up to you.
In any case, this got me thinking about the whole licensing thing. I didn’t really like what I had been reading. Specifically, there are some pretty decent articles on the bad points of using a Creative Commons license. I think this is the best summary I found.
At issue is the fact that a condition of the CC license is that you warrant your sublicensees from liability. In other words, if you publish something, then someone who gets it from you can hold you liable if the original copyright holder comes after them. Now I really think that if you use something from someplace else and don’t bother to check if you are allowed to do so, it’s your own problem. But with the way things are these days, I’m not at all interested in offering my own warranty to cover the stupidity of others.
So off I went. I remembered seeing the MIT License somewhere, so I took a look at it. All in all not bad. Short, sweet and to the point. I decided I wanted something a little more detailed, though. Next I stopped in at the GNU Public License (GPL). Very good, but a little too big. Moreover, both of these licenses seemed to apply more for software – and I also didn’t want to put the huge disclaimer in every page I published!
Finally I found the one-stop-shop for licenses. OSI offers all sorts of licenses in one convenient resource. I looked over the list, read a few, and finally settled on the Open Software License, (specifically, version 2, which appears to no longer be linked on their site). This one seems to cover everything I wanted. You’re welcome to use what I give you, you’re supposed to include attribution to that effect if you redistribute it, and finally, I don’t have to cover your liability if someone should sue you for what you found at my site.
I realize that what I’ve already published is still covered by the Creative Commons license – I’ll just have to roll the dice on that. But from this moment forward, I’ve got a new license on the site. In effect, it probably won’t change much – ideally it won’t change anything. Feel free to look at the code, take what you need. If you like it and use it, then a simple “thank you” is plenty. If you use it, resell it, and make a boatload of money, then a monetary gift would be nice.
In the next day or so, I should be able to get all the pages updated to reflect the correct licensing information. In the meantime, all Creative Commons info has been pulled from the site. If you happen to be using (or wanting to use) the Creative Commons icon formerly in the links section, it will remain for the time being, as it doesn’t take up much space. Make sure you grab it, though, as it won’t be there for long.