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

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

History

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

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

/*
 * ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 * "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
 * ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 */

Notes

  1. ^ Kamp, Poul-Henning (2004-10-24). "Poul-Henning Kamp". Retrieved 2006-04-24. 

See also