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Author Poul-Henning Kamp
Latest version 42
Published 2004
DFSG compatible Yes
FSF approved No
OSI approved No
GPL compatible No
Copyleft No

Beerware is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek term for software released under a very relaxed license (beerware licensed software). It provides the end user with the right to use a particular program (or do anything else with the source code).[1]


Should the user of the product meet the author and consider the software useful, they are encouraged to either buy the author a beer "in return" or drink one themselves. The Fedora project and Humanitarian-FOSS project at Trinity College recognized the "version 42" beerware license variant as extremely permissive "Copyright only" license, and consider it as GPL compatible.[2][3] As of 2015 the Free Software Foundation does not list this license as GPL compatible.[4]

Many variations on the beerware model have been created. Poul-Henning Kamp's beerware license is simple and short, in contrast to the GPL, which he has described as a "joke".[5] The full text of Kamp's license is:[6]

 * ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 * "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]


  1. ^ "What Does “Free as in Speech” or “Free as in Beer” Really Mean?". Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "Licensing/Beerware". Fedora project. Retrieved 2015-03-27. 
  3. ^ "Beerware License". Humanitarian-FOSS. Retrieved 2015-04-20. The license is compatible with proprietary licenses and the GNU GPL, as code under this license has no restrictions whatsoever. 
  4. ^ "GPL-Compatible Free Software Licenses". Free Software Foundation. 2015-03-05. Retrieved 2015-04-20. 
  5. ^ I think the GNU license is a joke, it fights the capitalism it so much is against with their own tools, and no company is ever going to risk any kind of proximity to so many so vague statements assembled in a license.
  6. ^ Kamp, Poul-Henning (2004-10-24). "Poul-Henning Kamp". Archived from the original on 21 April 2006. Retrieved 2006-04-24.