Which is the most permissive open-source license available?

"Permissive" would be defined as "the minimal requirements about how the software can be redistributed".

closed as not constructive by user8 Feb 13 '12 at 4:28

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    definitely not GPL. – Bryan Oakley Feb 12 '12 at 22:41
  • "Public Domain", I would expect. – Crashworks Feb 12 '12 at 23:09
  • "Avoid asking questions that are subjective, argumentative, or require extended discussion. This is not a discussion board, this is a place for questions that can be answered!"... you may also want to look at other posts that have asked the same question on here and stackoverflow. – jmq Feb 13 '12 at 0:04
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    there's no such thing as objective question, answer or anything – thelolcat Feb 13 '12 at 0:12
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    I don't think this question is unsalvagable, but "permissive" should be defined. It generally means in regards to distrobution as Wikipedia notes. If it's not too subjective for wikipedia I don't see how it can be too subjective for us. – Ben Brocka Feb 13 '12 at 2:28

The WTFPL (Do What The Fuck You Want To Public License) :

The WTFPL (Do What The Fuck You Want To Public License) is an infrequently used, extremely permissive free software license. The original Version 1.0 license, released March 2000, was written by Banlu Kemiyatorn who used it for Window Maker artwork. Samuel "Sam" Hocevar, a French programmer who was the Debian project leader from 17 April 2007 to 16 April 2008, wrote version 2.0. It allows for redistribution and modification of the software under any terms—licensees are encouraged to "do what the fuck [they] want to". The license was approved as a GPL-compatible free software license by the Free Software Foundation.

  • lol this is funny – thelolcat Feb 12 '12 at 22:09
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    I wonder if the OP also includes no protection from being sued in his meaning of permissive...... – mattnz Feb 13 '12 at 0:48
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    In legal terms is there any distinction whatsoever between WTFPL and making a work Public Domain? – Ben Brocka Feb 13 '12 at 2:00
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    @BenBrocka: Another difference is that in many jurisdictions you cannot give up your copyright, i.e. you cannot put a work in the Public Domain. For example, in my country, putting a work in the Public Domain involves the rather painful and lengthy process of committing suicide and waiting 70 years. So, if you put a work in the Public Domain, I cannot use it in Germany: it is still copyrighted, because you cannot give up your copyright, and all rights are exclusively reserved to the copyright holder, because there is no license on it. – Jörg W Mittag Feb 13 '12 at 2:43
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    @BenBrocka: Of course, the act of declaring something to be in the Public Domain may be construed by the courts as an implicit blanket non-exclusive license to all rights. But then again, it may not. Just putting a very permissive license on it is so much clearer. – Jörg W Mittag Feb 13 '12 at 2:46

Between the two you listed MIT is much more permissive than GPL (or LGPL).

If you want even more permissive, there's always Beerware and as a side effect you might even get some free beer out of it.

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    I live in Brooklyn, a beer can easily cost 7-9 bucks at a bar. Beerware could become the most expensive ware of my hobby-projects! – Sandy Gifford Aug 5 '16 at 14:14
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    which could easily be solved by simply switching hobbies. Have you considered playing hockey or R/C models? – DXM Aug 5 '16 at 18:53

I believe that your question doesn't have a single answer because there are lots of different licenses. I use the simplified BSD license in my projects which is very permissive.

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