I just relinquished my copyrights for Sidenote and Puzzle Code. The software is now in the public domain for everyone to enjoy more freely. You could say I unlicensed my code.
Before just now, this code was copyrighted and licensed to the world under the Apache License.
The practical significance of my decision is that, now, if you copy my code you no longer need to give me credit. Nor display the Apache License.
I think this change will make it easier for people to recycle my code snippets. And although you’re not required to, I would still appreciate if you give me credit if you copy my code. No one likes a plagiarist.
I deliberated unlicensing my code for about three minutes. It was an easy decision. The timestamps are here.
What motivated my change of heart?
I learned about the unlicensed movement. I am a fan of public domain software because it affords users the most freedom. Copy it. Paste it. Snip it. Hack it. Do anything you want.
I believe I maximize my contribution to the world by setting my software free.
It’s annoying when people criticize my personal decisions. Nevertheless, I enjoy defending myself.
Some lawyers don’t know how to deal with public-domain software.
I’m OK with that.
Some corporations are afraid of using public-domain software.
I don’t know what they’re afraid of. Also, I’m OK with that.
What if someone steals your ideas and profits from them?
This concern applies to open source software in general.
No one can steal my ideas because I am freely giving them away. I love my ideas. I want them to spread.
The public domain isn’t applicable everywhere.
Just as copyright is a man-made concept, so is the public domain. Supposedly some governments don’t recognize the public domain.
If your government limits your freedom to use my software, let me know. I will cut you a special licensed version of my software. I would also encourage you to file a bug report to your legislator.
The UNLICENSE is nonsensical
For example, it specifies a warranty, which supposedly cannot apply to public domain works. I’m happy to have a warranty statement just in case some judge thinks it is sensible. Also, I love non sequiturs.
People who use allegedly nonsensical (un)licenses are cargo culters
I am not a lawyer. You are probably not a lawyer. Even if you are, lawyers, judges, and juries often disagree.
If you think it’s cargo culting to use an (un)license you don’t fully understand then we are all cargo culting. Who reads and understands every word of every license and EULA they use and submit to?
You should use [some other public domain statement] instead
I prefer the UNLICENSE. It best represents my philosophy and style.
If you are curious about other ways to similarly set your code free, check out CC0, BOLA, and WTFPL.
If you have a criticism I haven’t heard before, let me know!