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