I've decided to create a programming language of my own, mostly just for fun. However, I got interested in the legal aspect of it all.
You can, for example, licence specific programs under specific terms. However, how do you go about licensing a language? Also, by that I don't just mean the implementation of the language (compiler & VM), but the standard itself. Is there something else to a programming language I'm missing?
What I would like to achieve by such licensing:
- Make it completely FOSS (can a language even be FOSS, or is that the implementation that can be FOSS?)
- Establish myself as the author (can you legally be an author of a language? Or, again, just the implementation?)
- Make it so that anyone implementing my language would be required to attribute me (MIT-style. Please note that I do not have any hopes for anyone actually ever doing that though, I'm just learning.)
I think that the solution would be to separately license the VM and the compiler for my language, as "the official implementation", and then license the design document as the language itself.
What exactly am I missing here?