After almost 2 years learning how to code (in Powershell) and some help at Stackoverflow from time to time, I'm now finally on my way to release my first GUI project.

I intend to release the compiled .exe of my project plus the .ps1 files at github or similar with the hopes that other experts can help me with tips how to optimise the code so that I can learn even some pro tips :-)

However I need a little help licensing it. For now I plan to release it under GPLv3. How exactly should I do this? From what I have read so far, I would do it like this:

  • Put the license text at top of my source code
  • also add an extra .txt file with the same license text into the archive with the GUI.exe

Is this correct? Are there any more steps required?

Also: Is there a way to exclude commercial use? And what should I do with functions other people posted on blogs? Should I name them as a contributer in the license file or is it enough to leave all the infos in the function header?

The current license text I plan to use

Programname and short description.

Copyright (C) 2015  [ME]

This is a free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under
the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free
Software Foundation; either version 3, or (at your option) any later

GCC is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY
WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or
for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with GCC; see the file COPYING3.  If not see

Contributed by [me] <myEmail>
  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is a legal question that should only be answered by a paid attorney. – Scant Roger Dec 27 '15 at 16:01
  • 2
    @ScantRoger: indeed, reading this makes me think that this question is more off-topic than on-topic, although it's not easy to decide. – Arseni Mourzenko Dec 27 '15 at 17:01

The abbreviated GPL text above says "You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with [product]". This often refers to a file LICENSE which includes the full text of the GPL.

When you have lots of contributors you would like to credit, common practice is to include an AUTHORS or CONTRIBUTORS file where you list them all.

I don't know how complex your GUI application is. When it is more complex, it might be appropriate to add an "About" dialog which shows the license and lists the contributors.

Regarding non-commercial licensing: In that case the GPL is out of the question. One of the central dogmas of open source / free software, is that software should be free to use for any purpose, including commercial use. Forbidding commercial use is often difficult, because it's very hard to define what is and what is not commercial use. For example, Github is a commercial company. They make money (indirectly) by hosting your files. Isn't that commercial use, too?

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