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Questions about Software Licensing
#1
The other day I made a GitHub account. Upon creating a repo on there, I ran across something there I hadn't considered before. It asked me what license I wanted my repo to have. I do want my code to be under an open source license, but which one should I choose. And when I choose one, do I have to do anything special to get it under that license or just state that it is under that license?
“And I knew exactly what to do. But in a much more real sense, I had no idea what to do.”
 - Michael Scott (from The Office)
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#2
(04-04-2019, 01:37 AM)Jeremiah Wrote: The other day I made a GitHub account. Upon creating a repo on there, I ran across something there I hadn't considered before. It asked me what license I wanted my repo to have. I do want my code to be under an open source license, but which one should I choose. And when I choose one, do I have to do anything special to get it under that license or just state that it is under that license?

If you want an open source license, then choose MIT.
If you want a free software license, than choose GPL (which I prefer).

Simply stating that a file is under a license is enough.
I recommend putting a header into your files, like the following (for GPL):

Code:
Copyright (C) 2019 Leon Plickat <leonhenrik.plickat@stud.uni-goettingen.de>

This program is 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 2 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the
GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program.  If not, see <https://www.gnu.org/licenses/>.
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#3
That is all? Oh. Ok and thank you. I have never put a licence on anything myself and I know that in order for something to be open sourced it has to have an open source license.

Edit:
I just read up on the GPL (The license I think that I will go with) and I went to the gnu's website. https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-howto.html

It is talking about how I should go to my school (Note that I am only in middle school) and ask for copyright. Is this needed?
“And I knew exactly what to do. But in a much more real sense, I had no idea what to do.”
 - Michael Scott (from The Office)
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#4
(04-04-2019, 10:13 PM)Jeremiah Wrote: I just read up on the GPL (The license I think that I will go with) and I went to the gnu's website. https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-howto.html

It is talking about how I should go to my school (Note that I am only in middle school) and ask for copyright. Is this needed?

I think that is a relict from Richard Stallmans time at MIT, where he was employed there
but did not want his code to belong to them.

Generally speaking, code you write yourself in your freetime is yours to do with whatever
you want. However when you write code for your school / university, like if you have
a job there or maybe even for classes (at least in some countries), the copyrightholder is
in fact the school / university.

Example: I am currently studying physics at a university here in germany. In my freetime
I am sometimes writing some software, most notably a window manager I currently work on.
The copyright of these projects belongs to me. But I also am employed as a web-developer
for one of the institutes at my departement. The copyright for the code I write for them
(mostly HTML and PHP) belongs to them.
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#5
So in your example you state that you have the copyright because you wrote that in your freetime. Because I wrote my code for me in my freetime, that means that I hold the copywriter for that. So when I state the license in my code I have to state that I own the copyright. Thank you for clearing that up. I just want to make sure that when I do this I am doing it the right way and will not get myself in any trouble in the future. Is there anything else I should know about licensing software?
“And I knew exactly what to do. But in a much more real sense, I had no idea what to do.”
 - Michael Scott (from The Office)
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#6
(04-05-2019, 09:23 PM)Jeremiah Wrote: Is there anything else I should know about licensing software?

Just that not all licenses are compatible. If you use other
peoples code for your project (like a library or tool kit)
be sure that you use the correct License.

As an example, if you want to use a library for one of your
projects, that is licensed under the GPL, and you distribute
the library alongside your project, then your project can't
be licensed under the MIT license, the BSD clauses, or any
license that is not compatible with the GPL.

There are exceptions: Either you choose to distribute your
project under multiple licenses (which however makes distributung
binaries annoying) or you choose to not distribute the library
alongside your project, so that people will have to get it
themselves.

However I doubt you will run into a situation like that if you
just do a few hobby projects.
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#7
Ok. Thank you for your help!  Big Grin
“And I knew exactly what to do. But in a much more real sense, I had no idea what to do.”
 - Michael Scott (from The Office)
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