I’ve decided to choose a real license for the software I post on this site, since responsible readers have asked me what license I use. I find the array of open source licenses baffling, so I dug up some resources:
- Starting from the big bang, the Open Source Initiative has a comprehensive list of over 50 different licenses: The Approved Licenses. There’s no help here choosing one, but at least you can examine them in all their glory.
- The Open Foundry has an interactive wizard, and a two-page comparison table. They consider 16 licenses on eight criteria. Both are hampered by imperfect English, but they present a lot of useful information.
- Zack Rusin from KDE has a table comparing 15 popular licenses.
- Whittling it down even further, David Wallace Croft compares six licenses on three criteria.
- Finally, a lawyer explains the implications of some license choices.
After looking over all this, I’m choosing MIT. It allows others to do the most with the code I write. When I put myself in the user’s shoes, it’s the license I would want to see on code I wanted to use.