when a developer decides to join the open-source movement with their own craft, the license they choose is a voice that speaks louder than any line of code. for some, preserving the open nature of code through obstinate license is an ought to achieve. on the other hand, many like i just wanna get some code out there with a few personal integrities here and there. i've grown quite fond with MIT, Zlib, and the BSD licenses, which are all on the permissive side. despite the abundance of licenses, i've never quite felt like there is one that meets my wishes.
my own license: BSD-Z
you might have guessed that "BSD-Z" is a BSD-like license, and you'd be right! based off of the BSD 2-Clause license, BSD-Z retains the destinction between attribution in source and binary releases. this explicitness makes it much easier for binary-only releases of software (such as pre-loaded applications or closed-source forks) to give appropriate attribution without breaking the license. however, this does not explicitly protect the developer from impersonators distributing malicious forks of the software (or other misleading redistributions). it also doesn't give them the assurance of credit beyond a copyright notice in documentation or source code.
the "Z" in "BSD-Z" comes from a license that solves exactly that: Zlib.
- commercial use: BSD-Z explicitly permits the commercial use of the licensed material and derivatives.
- redistribution: software licensed under BSD-Z may be redistributed.
- modification: modifications to the original software is allowed under BSD-Z.
- private use: anyone is allowed to use and modify BSD-Z software in private, such as in closed-source forks.
- omission of acknowledgement: BSD-Z does not require acknowledgement of the original author in advertising materials or product outside of a copyright notice in documentation and source code.
- license and copyright notice: a copy of the license and copyright notice must be included with BSD-Z-licensed material.
- representation of origin: BSD-Z protects the original author's integrity by forbidding redistributors from claiming they wrote the original software.
- state changes: BSD-Z also protects the original author's integrity by requiring modified versions are not misconstrued as the original software, such as with malicious or distasteful redistributions.
- liability: BSD-Z withholds the copyright holder and contributors from liability for any damages.
- warranty: warranty is explicitly not granted under BSD-Z.
the legal code of the BSD-Z license features an initial section similar to 2-Clause BSD, except it is more explicit in allowing commercial use (taken from Zlib). it retains clauses 1 and 2 from 2-Clause BSD, as well as Zlib's first two clauses (here under clauses 3 and 4).
BSD-Z Software License plaintext
BSD-Z Software License
Copyright (c) <year>, <copyright holder>
Redistribution and use in source and binary forms for any purpose, including
commercial applications, with or without modification, are permitted provided
that the following conditions are met:
1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this
list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
2. Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice,
this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation
and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
3. The origin of this software must not be misrepresented; you must not claim
that you wrote the original software. If you use this software in a
product, an acknowledgement in the product documentation would be
appreciated but is not required.
4. Altered versions must be plainly marked as such, and must not be
misrepresented as being the original software.
THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS "AS IS"
AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE
IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE
DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE
FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL
DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR
SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER
CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY,
OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE
OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
<copyright holder> are to be replaced with the year in which the license was applied and the copyright holder(s) whom applied it.