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A Simple Copyleft License Template

You will see the accompanying license template referred to in some places as the SHPTRANS License Template. That is simply because SHPTRANS is the tool that got me started drafting this license. If this template becomes approved by the Open Source Initiative, I do intend to use it to make a new license for SHPTRANS. However, you are also free to use it to create licenses for your own software.

Although I am not going to restrict you from modifying this template, or distributing it, or otherwise using it, you should not refer to a modified template as the SHPTRANS License Template. Also, keep in mind that the original template is the one submitted to the Open Source Initiative for approval - if you change anything (except as prescribed in the instructions), you're no longer using the approved * license. * By approved, I mean "soon to be approved, I hope."

If you think this license template is close to what you need for your software, but you see some problem and need a change, now would be a very good time to talk to me about it, and work with me to make this template better during the OSI discussion / approval process. Discussion is currently happening on license-discuss@opensource.org.

The materials submitted to the Open Source Initiative start below the this line. They include both the usage instructions and the template itself. The materials are also available in plain text format.


Proposed License Template for SHPTRANS

The following is a template for a license agreement which is intended to be almost as easy to read and understand as many non-copyleft license agreements, but to have a copyleft almost as strong as the GNU GPL. To use this license template for your software, replace the following values in a copy of the template:

<software descriptive name>
One line to give the program's name and a sense of what its purpose.

<software short name>
A short name that can be used to refer to the software. This name should be part of the descriptive name, but should be short enough that it can be used in the middle of a sentence.

<year(s)>
The year(s) when the work was published, or at least the year when the work was initially published. If you publish often, a range of years might make the most sense.

<copyright holder(s)>
The name of the principal person(s) or organisation(s) holding the copyright on this work. The list of copy copyright holders need not be exhaustive; in most jurisdictions copyright exists even if it is not expressed at all. Optionally, you can add "and others" after the principal copyright holder(s).

Since the license would otherwise be incompatible with the GPL, this template includes a provision to allow the recipient to distribute the licensed materials under the GPL. If you do not want this provision in your license, you should omit the last section of the license template (SPECIAL PROVISION FOR GNU COPYLEFT...) and the last sentence of the notice cited in condition "a" (this work may also be redistributed...) from your license.

Licenses created from this template, with or without the provision for GPL compatibility, are intended to be compliant with the Open Source Definition (OSD).


<software descriptive name>.
Copyright © <year(s)> <copyright holder(s)>. All rights reserved.


LICENSE AGREEMENT:
Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute the accompanying software, documentation, and related materials (the "software") is hereby granted, subject to the following conditions:

a. The above copyright notice must appear in all copies or substantial portions of the software. The copyright notice must be followed immediately by the complete text of this license agreement, or by the following brief notice:

"This work is distributed on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind. For more information, and to understand your rights and obligations, please refer to the complete license agreement for <software short name>, which should have accompanied this work. The same license agreement applies to derivative works.
This work may also be redistributed and/or modified under the terms of the GNU General Public License, version 2 or any later version, as published by the Free Software Foundation."

b. A verbatim copy of this license agreement (including the above copyright notice, this permission notice, and the following disclaimers and provisions) must appear in the documentation and/or in other materials accompanying the software.

c. When the software is modified, translated to another language, or combined with other materials, the resulting work as a whole is a derivative work as defined by copyright law, and is subject to these license terms. Thus, in order to exercise any rights in a combined work or any other derivative work, you must do so in a manner that simultaneously satisfies your obligations under this license agreement and your obligations under any other agreements that pertain to the derivative work.

d. When you distribute this software or a derivative work, you must make the entire work available to all recipients in source code form (that is, in the preferred form for making modifications to the work) under these license terms, in a reasonable manner on or through a medium customarily used for software exchange. You may not charge any fee for the source code, other than to cover the expenses that you incur in making the source code available.

e. Derivative works must be plainly marked as such, and must not be misrepresented as the original software.

f. When you make changes to the source code, you must cause the modified source files to carry prominent notices stating that you changed the files and the date of any change.

A separate work that does not itself contain any portion of this software is outside the scope of this license agreement, even if it accesses services exposed by this software or by a derivative work; even when it is stored or distributed on the same medium with software licensed under this agreement. Nonetheless, a work that includes translated portions of this software is a derivative work within the scope of this license.

Your rights under this license will terminate automatically if you attempt to copy, modify, or distribute the software in a manner that does not comply with these license terms and conditions.

If any provision of this license agreement is held to be unenforceable, that provision shall be reformed only to the extent necessary to make it enforceable; and the balance of this license agreement shall remain in full force and effect.


DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY AND LIABILITY:
THIS SOFTWARE AND THE ACCOMPANYING MATERIALS ARE PROVIDED "AS IS," WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER(S) AND CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS DISCLAIM ANY AND ALL WARRANTIES, WHETHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT.

IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS OR CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS 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.

The recipient must assume the entire risk of using this software.


SPECIAL PROVISION FOR GNU COPYLEFT:
This software may also be used, copied, modified, sublicensed, and/or distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2 or any later version, as published by the Free Software Foundation, in which case the provisions of the GPL are applicable instead of those above.