Wacky Open Source Licenses

Wednesday May 19th 2010 by Developer.com Staff
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The open source community if full of characters, and some of the licenses they come up can be really funny.

NetworkWorld's Phil Odence wrote about some of the crazy open source licenses in the more than 230,000 projects listed in the Black Duck Knowledgebase.

One license, called the Beerware license, says that you can do whatever you want with the software, but the author Poul-Hinning Kamp asks, "If we meet some day, and you think this stuff is worth it, you can buy me a beer in return."

Oddly enough, Kamp is on revision 42 of the Beerware license.

Another license is called the Death and Repudiation License. It reads, "This software may not be used directly by any living being. ANY use of this software (even perfectly legitimate and non-commercial uses) until after death is explicitly restricted."

The application, called Syck, also includes a BSD license for the living.

That Death and Repudiation is pretty difficult to meet the terms of, but Odence said, "I know of a US software giant that met a license obligation by actually shipping a Fender Stratocaster guitar to one rockin' developer."

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