I have a small utility library of useful stuff written in Java that I plan on releasing open source. I've been wavering on what license to use. I quite like the BSD license, which is short and easy to understand, but I don't want/need the clause about including the disclaimer in their product's documentation. Considering just dropping that bit out.
Would the MIT license suit me better, then? It doesn't have the endorsement prohibition clause like the BSD one does, which is something I like about BSD's. Also, does MIT's clause about keeping the copyright notice on substantial portions of the software just refer to the source code, and not binary form or any documentation they produce?
From surveying other SO questions on the topic, I've seen a few people recommend the Apache license. Having a quick scan though it, it actually might do most of what I want really well, although even that amount of legalese makes my head hurt (particularly at 2:30AM when I should be in bed instead of on SO.) Thoughts?
Basically I want something that is:
- easy to understand,
- says you can use the code as you like, but keep my copyright and permission notice on the source code,
- you don't need to put the name of me or my product or copyright notice etc. in any documentation, manuals, etc. that you produce,
- don't try and use me or my product as a selling point for your product (not that my endorsement would count for much anyway!)
- and covers my butt in a reasonable manner. :-)
EDIT: Wow, 30 minutes and already some good responses! In response:
I'd prefer not to "mix and match" if I can help it, and produce yet another open source license. Using a standard license makes it easier for all of us.
The butt covering comment is a bit tongue in cheek. The warranty disclaimer that all the licenses mentioned include is really all I'm talking about.
EDIT: Reading through the Wikipedia page on the MIT License, I discovered that ncurses uses a modified version that has been approved by the FSF, that adds a non-endorsement paragraph. I figure if it is good enough for them, it is good enough for me.
I was considering the Apache license, however compatibility problems with GPLv2 would be an issue I didn't want to introduce.