Public Domain

Just wondering does anyone support the public domain?

I usually release projects that make it to a somewhat complete state with either MIT License or The Unlicense.

What exactly do you mean with ‘support’?
I support its existance and I’d be glad if more projects where more open source.

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Oh ok that is awesome mate, would you be interested in joining in the Public Domain Movement?

No thank you.
I already don’t have much time on my hands and while I apprechiate free- and OSS, I don’t see the point of joining such a movement.
There would simply not be a big enough benefit to either me or others from me joing a movement, since I won’t want to spend the time to be active and already release and make use of free software.
In addition, I don’t shy away from using closed source/propriatary software when it is simply better, so I doubt I’d fit the spirit.

Edit: I also believe that extremes are rarely the way to go. And people should still be able to keep their source closed and earn money with it. It they have made something worth the money, then good for them. I’d probably do the same if I had a good idea…

I’m still not sure what is meant by the “Public Domain Movement”. But yes F/OSS in general i’m a fan of though that’s pretty open ended.

As in like encouraging users to use public domain licenses such as Unlicese and WTFPL v2.

I like FOSS but I also like them to be in the public domian? Do you like GPL licenses?

Yes, I like GPL licenses! :slight_smile: I usually put them on my code, unless it is something really small, in which case I usually use MIT or BSD. For works that are not programming, I usually use Creative Commons: Attribution-ShareAlike.

GPL is far more restrictive than the public domain. MIT and BSD are close to the public domain but still do not qualify to be the in the public domain :slight_smile:

Does anyone have a good breakdown of the difference between GNU GPL, MIT, and BSD licenses? I was under the impression that they’re mostly the same. I have seen plenty of open source software use GNU GPL. But is it more restrictive than MIT?

In regards to GPL and MIT, if you fork a GPL project and you modify it, you must legally disclose the source code upon request if used commercially. With MIT you don’t have to but you must legally disclose the original copywrite holder. I am not too sure what the difference is between MIT and BSD but they are quite close.

There’s a ton of variances in licensing. Some address how the license applies if you’re not distributing the code but simply providing a service. But at the end of the day the question you end up asking is:

Do you want to ensure that any changes are contributed back?

  • If you say yes, a lot of companies will be reluctant to use your code and will not be contributing back to you either.

  • If no, then anywhere your code it’s used it has to be open.

That’s the rule of thumb, but there’s a LOT of exceptions to the rule and caveats. This is a good reference: https://choosealicense.com/.

Even more reading: https://opensource.org/licenses/category

@Joe232 this talks about MIT vs BSD, though to complicate things there’s not just one BSD license. https://opensource.stackexchange.com/questions/217/what-are-the-essential-differences-between-the-bsd-and-mit-licences but if you’re interested.

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Interesting mate, thank you :slight_smile:

Thanks man. That’s a really good link.
I wonder how much of the general public knows, or even cares about licensing.
I find even Creative Commons Licensing to be a little confusing with the various restrictions on reuse/modification/attribution

If you are a developer you have to care. For example I was going to use the UPBGE game engine but because it was under GPLv2, various libraries that I would use would become part of the GPLv2, in other words I would legaly be forced to give my source code if I were to make games from this project. Therefore I am not going to use this game engine at all all because of the use of GPL. If it was LGPL, BSD (most versions) MIT or public domain, then I would have considered using it.