How to license my software?

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Nathan
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How to license my software?

Post by Nathan » Sun Mar 22, 2009 2:46 pm

Sorry if this has been asked before. I did a search, but was unable to find an answer to my question.

I'd like to make the software I've been working on available for free, but I don't want to release the source code.

What type of license should I use for my software? I'm assuming I do need some sort of license? Like what most programs make you agree to when installing them...

Also, the name I've been using for my program isn't used by any other piece of software, I did extensive googling :D But do I need to copyright the name or something, to make sure no one else takes it later on?

Thanks for the advice! I know nothing at all about licenses, and really appreciate it!

protocol
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Post by protocol » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:24 am

You can create your own license agreement or use an existing free license (like Creative Commons). Your software is copyright protected as soon as you compile it. That copyright won't matter so much in the real world, as you don't have it trademarked. People stretch the "fair-use" clause like silly putty.
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Nathan
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Post by Nathan » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:19 pm

protocol wrote:You can create your own license agreement or use an existing free license (like Creative Commons).
The creative commons website: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/GPL/2.0/

Implies (I think..) that the user has the right to modify the program, which I kind of don't want right now.
protocol wrote:Your software is copyright protected as soon as you compile it. That copyright won't matter so much in the real world, as you don't have it trademarked. People stretch the "fair-use" clause like silly putty.
Do most people trademark the names of their programs then?

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Post by jacmoe » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:42 pm

©Copyright 2009 Your_company Ltd. All rights reserved.
Most of the time, the above is enough. :)

If it's freeware, take a look at this:
http://www.sil.org/computing/catalog/freeware.html

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Post by mc2r » Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:19 pm

I'd like to add 2 points.

I think a good place to start is deciding what rights you want to grant the users. Should be a pretty short list since you aren't releasing source code. The copyright...all rights reserved blurb posted earlier may be sufficient. No need to make it complicated if you are releasing it binary only.

I'm not sure how many posters here are lawyers, I certainly am not. It may not(probably not) be worth it to you to check with a lawyer, just think you should keep in mind that legal advice from a non-lawyer should be taken with a grain of salt. Like I said most likely doesn't matter in this case, just something to keep in mind.

-Max

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Post by Nathan » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:00 pm

How does this sound :D
You are free to use this software, and to distribute unmodified versions of it.

You are not free to reverse engineer, or modify the software's source code in any way.

I, the author, am not responsible for any damage this software may cause to you or your computer. You have no one to blame but yourself for installing it.


©Copyright 2009 Nathan House. All rights reserved.

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Post by catalin » Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:27 am

End User License Agreement (EULA)

NOTICE TO USERS: CAREFULLY READ THE FOLLOWING LEGAL AGREEMENT. USE OF XXXXXX (the “SOFTWARE”) PROVIDED WITH THIS AGREEMENT CONSTITUTES YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THESE TERMS. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT, DO NOT INSTALL AND/OR USE THIS SOFTWARE. USER'S USE OF THIS SOFTWARE IS CONDITIONED UPON COMPLIANCE BY USER WITH THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT.

"You" means the company, entity or individual who received the SOFTWARE.

License grant
This EULA grants you the right to store, load, install, execute or display unlimited copies of the SOFTWARE on your computers.

This SOFTWARE is free for personal or commercial use. When you obtain a copy of the SOFTWARE, you are granted an unlimited usage period.

You agree not to modify, adapt, translate, reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble or otherwise attempt to discover the source code of the SOFTWARE.

Copyright
The SOFTWARE and all rights are owned by XXXXXX and are protected by copyright law and international copyright treaties. You acknowledge that no title to the intellectual property in the SOFTWARE is transferred to you.

No Warranty, No Liability
XXXXXX DOES NOT AND CANNOT WARRANT THE PERFORMANCE OR RESULTS YOU MAY OBTAIN BY USING THE SOFTWARE OR DOCUMENTATION. YOU HEREBY ASSUME THE ENTIRE RISK OF ALL USE OF THE COPIES OF SOFTWARE COVERED BY THIS LICENSE.
These are taken and adapted from doPDF EULA, and they look like a good example.

Other links you may find useful:
What is Freeware?
Freeware License Agreement
Hypercubed Freeware License Agreement
And why not, EULAlyzer :)

HTH

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Post by leiradella » Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:15 pm

Get in touch with a lawyer!

But I think registering a trademark gives you only the guarantee that no one else will claim that the trademark is theirs, and if they do it'll be easy for you to prove them wrong. Another benefit of registering a trademark is that you'll be sure it doesn't already exist.

If you don't register the trademark, you'll have to prove you were the first one to use it if someone claims the trademark is theirs. Or maybe they're right in their claim and you'll have to cease using the trademark.

It's a difficult world...

Cheers,

Andre

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