I’ve been trawling through many pages about software licensing and it’s a real brain-beater. Legal stuff just isn’t interesting, although I do know that I must release my code under a license, otherwise I’d just end up with problems later on down the road.
So I’ve just finished a rich web-based media manager, and I’m getting around to releasing it. It uses jQuery (including a JSON plugin, and SWFUpload). All code is my own, apart from the JSON plugin and SWFUpload (both released under MIT License, which I believe allows me to use them, I hope).
My code will be open-source. There are a few things that are worrying me.
- If I release it as open-source, do I lose my rights as the original copyright owner?
- Really, which license should I be using if I want people to be able to use it for free, change it how they want, redistribute the ORIGINAL work (not the changed work).
Really, I just think I’m being over protective of it. All I want to do is release it to the public, but still retain my ownership over it, since I created it.
Any pointers as to where I should go? I’ve been looking at the GNU GPL, but not entirely sure.
After researching a lot more, I’ve settled on either the BSD or MIT License. I’ve read that the GPL license is a legal timebomb, not sure how true that is.
The BSD and MIT Licenses place little restriction on the end-user, basically: the copyright notice and license must be included in any redistribution of the software.
However, the BSD License does state this:
Neither the name of the nor the names of its contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software without specific prior written permission.
Any pointers as to which of those would be better?