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23 June 32010 / Robin Wellner

gvx Userpage: now implicitly licensed

As I was updating my ~/Hacking page, I noted that it said “©2010 Robin Wellner. Some rights reserved.” at the bottom, but it didn’t specify what license was used.

I checked, and this was the case all over my userpage. As I was pondering which license was best in this case, an idea suddenly sprang to mind.

The Implicit License.

This was a perfect fit. The Implicit License finally has a practical use (UPDATE: well, dice is Implicitly Licensed as well, but I forgot about that), and I don’t have to worry about my userpage’s licensing any more.

Strait from the standard license:

For any work I, Robin Wellner, publish on gvx.github.com/ for which I have not declared an explicit license, the following conditions apply:

I promise not to sue you for reusing this work with one of the following Open Source licenses: GPL2+, LGPL2+, AGLP2+, MIT, 3-clause BSD, zlib, Apache 2, LPCL, AFL, OSL, CC-BY, CC-BY-SA. Attribution is appreciated, but not required.

If you want to use it in a proprietary setting or with any other license that is arguably open source, full copyright conditions apply, and you will need to contact me to ask permission. In that case, I reserve all rights to this work.

If or when I decide to re-license this work, the implicit license will not apply anymore. In the event you already have a copy of this work from before the re-licensing, you may distribute, derive and modify that version from that work. If I re-license this work to full copyright, you will need to ask me permission according to default copyright law.

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4 Comments

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  1. qubodup / Jun 23 2010 18:59

    Suppose I copy your work under zlib, but don’t include the text of the implicit license. Then somebody else copies your work under a proprietary license, which respects the zlib license, which permits copying under a proprietary license?

    Implicit license says “You can use *GPL2+ or BY-SA, or permissive, but if you use permissive it’s not really permissive.” to me.

    • Robin Wellner / Jun 23 2010 21:41

      Suppose I copy your work under zlib, but don’t include the text of the implicit license.

      That’s the intention — the IL is not “copy-left”, so no need to include its text in derivative works.

      Then somebody else copies your work under a proprietary license, which respects the zlib license, which permits copying under a proprietary license?

      Well, your work, technically. And that’s fine. Also: such a trick to “claim” content will usually not be worth the effort, and if it is, I’m not going to stop them anyway.

      The IL is intended as a “Hang on, I haven’t decided on a license yet (and for some of these things, it’s not worth the effort doing that anyway). But in the meanwhile, it’s OK if you want to use it as if it had one of the following licenses…”
      It might not make sense, but I’ve thought quite some time about it, and I rather think it does.

  2. qubodup / Jun 23 2010 22:04

    “Hang on, I haven’t decided on a license yet”

    To me it means “I multi-license this work under the following licenses.”

    “I promise not to sue you for reusing this work with one of the following Open Source licenses:”

    Sounds like “I will sue if you use any other license.” (But your license is incompatible with permissive licenses. At least when you didn’t read the comment above it seems so.)

    I would prefer “I multi-license this work under … but pretty pretty please make derivate works free/open source software too! :3” (:3 license) Implicit license is hard to understand because it’s not instantly clear what you really want. :3 license is very clear. 🙂 I mean :3

    Also it’s very popular. Many people have licensed their text under “:3”. :3

    • Robin Wellner / Jun 23 2010 22:37

      Haha, perhaps.

      The IL is very experimental, and I have written it to be as weak as possible, to avoid complicated situations (and in fact, you can use other licenses, you just have to get permission for it first). Maybe someone with l33t legal skillz could take a look at it and explain exactly how criminally insane the IL is.

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