My Licensing Wake-Up Call

The other day I got an email that really hit me on the head. It was titled “JOOLS, Y U NO SPECIFY A LICENSE?” and here’s how it read:

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

I don't get it. If having no license means that all rights are reserved, why could he use your project?

He couldn't, that's the point.

All right are reserved TO THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER, i.e. the author (in this case), not the user :)

You should have not changed the license. All rights reserved gives you all the power and owner shipping. To give other license means they can dilute your work.

There *is* a middle ground between 100% proprietary and 100% free-of-all-monetary-value-and-distribution-control (GPL). MIT is more in the middle and way off in the Z-Axis of Absolute Freedom. I, personally, prefer Creative Commons Attribution (which requires them to keep my copyright notices and say their works are derived from mine in a very public place (like about pages and splash screens).

I also combine it with the OSSAL, which forbids usage of my code in GPL'd projects. I will NOT contribute to GPL, and will not allow my apps to be infected. OSSAL is the GPL vaccine.

Thank you for a healthy reminder to anyone in the open-source community; and please don't get discouraged by the extreme stupidity of previous comments.