[lug] How to license a small program?

Ted Logan ted.logan at gmail.com
Thu Sep 25 15:24:22 MDT 2008

Assuming you wrote all the code yourself, and you haven't entered into
any non-disclosure agreements with the manufacturer, you are free to
license and distribute the code under any license you see fit. Under
US copyright law, you have some legal protection against others
copying your code in ways your license doesn't allow simply by typing
the code into your text editor. (This is considered "affixing into
permanent form".) All you really have to do is paste a GPL header on
the top of all of your source files and include the text of the
license in your source tree. If you're feeling paranoid, you can
register the code with the copyright office, which entitles you to
greater legal protection (which pretty much boils down to more money
in a civil case).

If you used someone else's code, or link to someone else's libraries,
you need to license and distribute your code in a manner consistent
with their license.

(Of course, I am not a lawyer, and this should not be considered legal advice.)

Ted Logan
ted.logan at gmail.com

More information about the LUG mailing list