Take the 2-minute tour ×
Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I came across this license:

/**
 * The author disclaims copyright to this source code. In place of
 * a legal notice, here is a blessing:
 *
 * May you do good and not evil.
 * May you find forgiveness for yourself and forgive others.
 * May you share freely, never taking more than you give.
 */

Can a programmer really renounce the ownership of their source code?

share|improve this question

closed as off-topic by MichaelT, gnat, GlenH7, Snowman, ratchet freak Mar 3 at 15:52

  • This question does not appear to be about software development within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

3  
Also depends on jurisdiction. there's the saying: "Programming is like sex. Make one little mistake and support it for the rest of your life." In some jurisdictions, copyright cannot be disclaimed. –  Chris Travers Mar 8 '13 at 4:19
1  
Why the downvote? –  dan-klasson Mar 8 '13 at 4:26
4  
I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about legal questions of intellectual property. –  MichaelT Mar 3 at 2:12
3  
@dan-klasson the question of "does it have the same legal bearing" is one that can only be answered by lawyers, which we are not. Legal assistance is specifically listed as off topic in the help center, and I believe this falls firmly in the realm of ask a lawyer. –  MichaelT Mar 3 at 4:39
2  
@dan-klasson there are licensing questions such as "how do I use an MIT license in a GPL project" or "what am I required to provide when using a library that is AGPL licensed" and the like. Those are questions that do not involve interpretation of the licenses but rather following the instructions. On the other hand, questions that involve the legal interpretation of some text is something that can only be answered by lawyers. This question is asking for the legal interpretation of some license. The only reasonable answer is "talk to a lawyer in your jurisdiction" (the answers will vary). –  MichaelT Mar 3 at 15:39

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Disclaiming copyright is the same as placing it in the public domain, and means there is no copyright, so there are no restrictions whatsoever. Technically, disclaiming copyright isn't a license, since a license states the terms under which you may make copies legally.

They are not the same, but there would be little practical difference in some jurisdictions.

share|improve this answer
6  
IANAL but AFAIK in some legal jurisdictions you can't disclaim copyright. There's effectively no such thing as "the public domain" –  MarkJ Mar 8 '13 at 14:18
1  
Read the licence again. There is no restriction. –  Sam Hocevar Mar 8 '13 at 20:08

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.