Appendix and Recognition of License Roundup

@kemitchell has summarised all the licenses he’s contributed to here:

Other times when there are this many licenses offered, it is common to offer a comparison table, as Choose a License does like so:

Such a table would allow license users to find say a license they like (say MIT, CC-BY-SA, or GPL) then find the equivalent license easily by which ones enable and disable the same things.


The second half of this is to get these licenses listed on common license sites, such as:

Considering the requirements here:

Seems the order of steps here needs to be:

  1. Artless Devices Comparison Table with internal and external licenses, to make selection and adoption more familiar
  2. Get a SPDX identifier for the license
  3. Once the license has 1000 projects using it and 3 significant projects get it on Choose a License

I read Choose a License as GitHub’s play for uniformity, not innovation. It used to expose many more choices than it does now, but was streamlined even further some years back.

In general, I’m way more interested in seeing projects adopt the licenses than getting gold stars or free promo from gatekeepers or other organizations. The one exception there has been SPDX, since several package systems use SPDX’ license identifiers for package metadata. Even that has been very frustrating.

A comparison table is a good idea, but it would need to include far more than just licenses I’ve laid hands on. Part of the problem there is that there are too many dimensions along which forms vary. Choose a License, for example, originally (over)simplified things like so:

  • I want it simple and permissive. → MIT
  • I’m concerned about patents. → Apache 2
  • I care about sharing improvements. → GPL v2 or v3

If you went deeper from there, I think they leveraged tl;dr Legal data. Most notably, you had to drill down to find “weak copyleft” licenses like MPL and LGPL.

I suppose I could add some of my forms to tl;dr Legal. I believe that’s a self-serve process, no approvals needed.

I have thought many times about coding up a license recommendation wizard. That is a much bigger project than people tend to think. It’s something I’d probably have to charge for to justify.

No, TL;DR LEGAL is broken at the last hurdle last time I tried… 6 months ago maybe? Or… more cynically… it’s been hobbled perhaps?

I don’t think it’s necessary to acquiesce with spdx… since (and I don’t know and havent checked to see if they offer an API… but they darn well should) it’s possible to comply without being listed (as such)

Choose-a-license and SPDX is so obviously an industry tactic driven by the biggest players to crush licensing diversity in the name of ‘proliferation’… it’s the usual cleansing operation to eliminate all the natives (so to speak)…

erm… so where does it start to inflate / bloat? looks like if() else {} kinda thing to me, no?