My Licensing Wake-Up Call

This post is a few years old now, so some details (or my opinions) might be out of date.
I would still love to hear your feedback in the comments below. Enjoy!

The other day I got an email that really hit me on the head. It was titled “JOOLS, Y U NO SPECIFY A LICENSE?” and here’s how it read:

FYI, your Jools project on GitHub specifies no license. It looks like you intend it to be Open Source or Public Domain, but without specifying a license explicitly, the license is “all rights reserved, no reuse or redistribution allowed”.

Though I don’t mention the project or you by name, the lack of a license inspired this post: ;-)

Jens Knutson

Harsh, but I know I had it coming. From time to time I hear about license X or license Y, or see a post on HN about which license to use, but I never paid much attention. Licensing is a problem for people with successful projects, I thought. Who has time? My job is to build stuff!

Well, as it seems, not specifying a license can mean failure for your project. I thanked Jens for his email - all the while thinking how many people were in the same situation and didn’t send me an email? Oh man, This is bad. I went ahead and put up a LICENSE file in my repository right away (I chose the MIT license, for those interested).

Don’t let this happen to you. Got an open source project? License it today.

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