The Lil License v1

Copyright (c) [years] [authors]

Permission is hereby granted by the authors of this software, to any person, to use the software for any purpose, free of charge, including the rights to run, read, copy, change, distribute and sell it, and including usage rights to any patents the authors may hold on it, subject to the following conditions:

This license, or a link to its text, must be included with all copies of the software and any derivative works.

Any modification to the software submitted to the authors may be incorporated into the software under the terms of this license.

The software is provided "as is", without warranty of any kind, including but not limited to the warranties of title, fitness, merchantability and non-infringement. The authors have no obligation to provide support or updates for the software, and may not be held liable for any damages, claims or other liability arising from its use.

FAQ

Why publish yet another license? Why not just use MIT?

It's true that license proliferation is a real problem. And the MIT License is lovely: functional, relatively clear in intent to all readers — not just lawyers — and has stood the test of time. Roughly half of all open source projects use it. But it was written in the 1980s, and as open source authors and users we've learned that, in practice, we need just a little bit more: a declaration of the intent not to use software patents against users, and the shared understanding that contributions back to the project will be incorporated under the same terms of the license.

What else is different about the Lil License?

Some of the legal phrasing has been simplified, the legally UNNECESSARY SHOUTY TEXT quieted, and the words generally boiled down to a bare minimum. You may include the license verbatim or link to it instead, and there's also a bit about having no obligations to provide support or updates to your code.

This license won't work for my project because of [ ... ]. Can I fix it?

You certainly can. Although we've put significant care and thought into the precise formulation of this license, there's no reason why it shouldn't be made even better. In fact, the "Lil" stands for "Lil Improvable License". Go ahead and make your changes. If you think they'd benefit everyone, please submit them on Github. The goal here is to whittle this thing down to a minimal social and legal contract among authors, contributors and users of open source. In plain English.

This license is a terrible idea. We need something more legally robust!

If you're looking for a tried and tested, every term defined, dot the i's and cross the t's, permissive open source license, try the Apache License. It will serve you well.

This license is a terrible idea. Software authors need to be able to be paid for their work!

Check out License Zero. It helps software stay free for use and modification for non-commercial purposes, while commercial users can be required to pay after a trial period.

I decided to license my project under the LIL. Does anyone care?

We do. Please take a moment to add it to the wiki.

Credits and inspiration: MIT, Apache, Postgres, ISC, Kyle Mitchell, and clear legal writing.