Beerware

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Beerware
Author John Bristor
Copyleft No

Beerware is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek term for software released under a very relaxed license. It provides the end user with the right to use a particular program (or do anything else with the source code).

Description[edit]

Logo example

Should the user of the product meet the author and consider the software useful, they are encouraged to buy the author a beer "in return" (or, in some variations, to drink a beer in the author's honor).

History[edit]

The term was invented by John Bristor in Pensacola, Florida on April 25, 1987,[citation needed] and the first software distributed using the Beerware licensing model was uploaded to a number of BBSs in 1987 and 1988.[citation needed] Many variations on the beerware model have been created since that time.

License[edit]

Poul-Henning Kamp's beerware license is simple and short, in contrast to the GPL which he has described as a "joke".[1] The full text of Kamp's license is:[2]

/*
 * ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 * "THE BEER-WARE LICENSE" (Revision 42):
 * <phk@FreeBSD.ORG> wrote this file. As long as you retain this notice you
 * can do whatever you want with this stuff. If we meet some day, and you think
 * this stuff is worth it, you can buy me a beer in return Poul-Henning Kamp
 * ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 */

See also[edit]

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