per file handling
SFLC explains that no copyright information does not yield copyright. Thus no copyright header is preferred way to go since it minimizes maintenance work. No yearly updates have to be performed. Future contributors do not have to be added manually, your version control system handles that way better than you anyway.
CC tells something about license headers for files.
Atwood suggest to pick any license.
Follow the suggesting of the FSF and pick the Creative Commons Zero license.. Compared to similar licenses like the WTFPL or UNLICENSE which are often critized for lacking legal language, the CC0’s only downside seems to be a missing OSI stamp of approval. The problem here is that the CC0 does not grant any (implicit) trademark or patent rights, thus placing users of your software in a position where they can legally use your software but are forced to pay royalties for using your patent implemented by that software. In order to solve that problem, place all your trademarks and patent rights under the same CC0 license. If that is not possible, use the CC0 in your advantage and simple fork the software and re-release it in whatever license, whatever user requires. Cut down on maintenance by using a multi-license approach.
The CC0 license is probably not DFSG compatible because of the above issue. If you plan on release software into Debian repositories, use the mentioned multi-license approach. A short license like the ISC is DFSG compatible and won’t clutter your
Apply the following setup to your project in order to use the CC0 license. The setup is intended to reduce ongoing maintenance work with regards to copyright information while still supporting multiple contributors.
1) Use the following header for all source files. Replace
$MY_PROJECT with the name of your project.
This file is part of $MY_PROJECT. It is subject to the license terms in the LICENSE file found in the top-level directory of this distribution and at http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/. No part of $MY_PROJECT, including this file, may be copied, modified, propagated, or distributed except according to the terms contained in the LICENSE file.
|This header does not contain the typical copyright fragments, like the year of publication or the author. The SLFC explains that missing copyright information does not void your copyright at all - thus it can be safely removed. Instead the file header simply redirects the reader to the LICENSE file in the root of the project.|
2) Add a file called
LICENSE in the root of your project with the following legal code:
Creative Commons Legal Code CC0 1.0 Universal CREATIVE COMMONS CORPORATION IS NOT A LAW FIRM AND DOES NOT PROVIDE LEGAL SERVICES. DISTRIBUTION OF THIS DOCUMENT DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP. CREATIVE COMMONS PROVIDES THIS INFORMATION ON AN "AS-IS" BASIS. CREATIVE COMMONS MAKES NO WARRANTIES REGARDING THE USE OF THIS DOCUMENT OR THE INFORMATION OR WORKS PROVIDED HEREUNDER, AND DISCLAIMS LIABILITY FOR DAMAGES RESULTING FROM THE USE OF THIS DOCUMENT OR THE INFORMATION OR WORKS PROVIDED HEREUNDER. Statement of Purpose The laws of most jurisdictions throughout the world automatically confer exclusive Copyright and Related Rights (defined below) upon the creator and subsequent owner(s) (each and all, an "owner") of an original work of authorship and/or a database (each, a "Work"). Certain owners wish to permanently relinquish those rights to a Work for the purpose of contributing to a commons of creative, cultural and scientific works ("Commons") that the public can reliably and without fear of later claims of infringement build upon, modify, incorporate in other works, reuse and redistribute as freely as possible in any form whatsoever and for any purposes, including without limitation commercial purposes. These owners may contribute to the Commons to promote the ideal of a free culture and the further production of creative, cultural and scientific works, or to gain reputation or greater distribution for their Work in part through the use and efforts of others. For these and/or other purposes and motivations, and without any expectation of additional consideration or compensation, the person associating CC0 with a Work (the "Affirmer"), to the extent that he or she is an owner of Copyright and Related Rights in the Work, voluntarily elects to apply CC0 to the Work and publicly distribute the Work under its terms, with knowledge of his or her Copyright and Related Rights in the Work and the meaning and intended legal effect of CC0 on those rights. 1. Copyright and Related Rights. A Work made available under CC0 may be protected by copyright and related or neighboring rights ("Copyright and Related Rights"). Copyright and Related Rights include, but are not limited to, the following: i. the right to reproduce, adapt, distribute, perform, display, communicate, and translate a Work; ii. moral rights retained by the original author(s) and/or performer(s); iii. publicity and privacy rights pertaining to a person's image or likeness depicted in a Work; iv. rights protecting against unfair competition in regards to a Work, subject to the limitations in paragraph 4(a), below; v. rights protecting the extraction, dissemination, use and reuse of data in a Work; vi. database rights (such as those arising under Directive 96/9/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 1996 on the legal protection of databases, and under any national implementation thereof, including any amended or successor version of such directive); and vii. other similar, equivalent or corresponding rights throughout the world based on applicable law or treaty, and any national implementations thereof. 2. Waiver. To the greatest extent permitted by, but not in contravention of, applicable law, Affirmer hereby overtly, fully, permanently, irrevocably and unconditionally waives, abandons, and surrenders all of Affirmer's Copyright and Related Rights and associated claims and causes of action, whether now known or unknown (including existing as well as future claims and causes of action), in the Work (i) in all territories worldwide, (ii) for the maximum duration provided by applicable law or treaty (including future time extensions), (iii) in any current or future medium and for any number of copies, and (iv) for any purpose whatsoever, including without limitation commercial, advertising or promotional purposes (the "Waiver"). Affirmer makes the Waiver for the benefit of each member of the public at large and to the detriment of Affirmer's heirs and successors, fully intending that such Waiver shall not be subject to revocation, rescission, cancellation, termination, or any other legal or equitable action to disrupt the quiet enjoyment of the Work by the public as contemplated by Affirmer's express Statement of Purpose. 3. Public License Fallback. Should any part of the Waiver for any reason be judged legally invalid or ineffective under applicable law, then the Waiver shall be preserved to the maximum extent permitted taking into account Affirmer's express Statement of Purpose. In addition, to the extent the Waiver is so judged Affirmer hereby grants to each affected person a royalty-free, non transferable, non sublicensable, non exclusive, irrevocable and unconditional license to exercise Affirmer's Copyright and Related Rights in the Work (i) in all territories worldwide, (ii) for the maximum duration provided by applicable law or treaty (including future time extensions), (iii) in any current or future medium and for any number of copies, and (iv) for any purpose whatsoever, including without limitation commercial, advertising or promotional purposes (the "License"). The License shall be deemed effective as of the date CC0 was applied by Affirmer to the Work. Should any part of the License for any reason be judged legally invalid or ineffective under applicable law, such partial invalidity or ineffectiveness shall not invalidate the remainder of the License, and in such case Affirmer hereby affirms that he or she will not (i) exercise any of his or her remaining Copyright and Related Rights in the Work or (ii) assert any associated claims and causes of action with respect to the Work, in either case contrary to Affirmer's express Statement of Purpose. 4. Limitations and Disclaimers. a. No trademark or patent rights held by Affirmer are waived, abandoned, surrendered, licensed or otherwise affected by this document. b. Affirmer offers the Work as-is and makes no representations or warranties of any kind concerning the Work, express, implied, statutory or otherwise, including without limitation warranties of title, merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, non infringement, or the absence of latent or other defects, accuracy, or the present or absence of errors, whether or not discoverable, all to the greatest extent permissible under applicable law. c. Affirmer disclaims responsibility for clearing rights of other persons that may apply to the Work or any use thereof, including without limitation any person's Copyright and Related Rights in the Work. Further, Affirmer disclaims responsibility for obtaining any necessary consents, permissions or other rights required for any use of the Work. d. Affirmer understands and acknowledges that Creative Commons is not a party to this document and has no duty or obligation with respect to this CC0 or use of the Work.
|Add any additional licenses to that same file if you follow a multi license approach.|
# in asciidoc image:https://img.shields.io/badge/license-cc%20zero-000000.svg["CC Zero", link="http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/"]
4) Place the following text at the bottom of your
To the extent possible under law, the author(s) have dedicated all copyright and related and neighboring rights to this software to the public domain worldwide. This software is distributed without any warranty. You should have received a copy of the CC0 Public Domain Dedication along with this software. If not, see http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/.
5) Create a folder called
AUTHORS and place a file called
WAIVER with the following content in it:
# Copyright waiver for <LINK_TO_PROJECT> I dedicate any and all copyright interest in this software to the public domain. I make this dedication for the benefit of the public at large and to the detriment of my heirs and successors. I intend this dedication to be an overt act of relinquishment in perpetuity of all present and future rights to this software under copyright law. To the best of my knowledge and belief, my contributions are either originally authored by me or are derived from prior works which I have verified are also in the public domain and are not subject to claims of copyright by other parties. To the best of my knowledge and belief, no individual, business, organization, government, or other entity has any copyright interest in my contributions, and I affirm that I will not make contributions that are otherwise encumbered.
6) Finally sign the
WAIVER, commit it, and push everything together with your first contribution to a project.
$ # sign $ gpg2 --no-version --armor --sign AUTHORS/WAIVER $ mv AUTHORS/WAIVER.asc AUTHORS/WAIVER-signed-by-USERNAME.asc $ # commit $ git add AUTHORS/WAIVER-signed-by-USERNAME.asc $ git commit -S AUTHORS/WAIVER-signed-by-USERNAME.asc
7) Your done, free to do something else with your life now.
Future work will consist of adding the above header to each source file and verifying that GPG signatures are correct and match between signed waiver and signed commit.