WTFPL

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Do What the Fuck You Want to Public License
WTFPL logo.svg
The WTFPL logo
Author Banlu Kemiyatorn, Sam Hocevar
Latest version 2
Publisher Sam Hocevar
Published 2004
DFSG compatible Yes
FSF approved Yes[1]
OSI approved No[2]
GPL compatible Yes [1]
Copyleft No [1]
Linking from code with a different license Yes
Website http://www.wtfpl.net

The WTFPL (Do What the Fuck You Want to Public License) is a very permissive Software license most commonly used as a permissive free software license. As also Public domain like/public copyright license, the WTFPL is essentially not different from dedication (by waiver/anti-copyright notice) to the public domain.[2] The original Version 1.0 license, released March 2000,[3] was written by Banlu Kemiyatorn who used it for Window Maker artwork.[4] Sam Hocevar, a French programmer who was the Debian project leader from 17 April 2007 to 16 April 2008, wrote version 2.0.[5] It allows for redistribution and modification of the software under any terms – licensees are encouraged to "do what the fuck [they] want to". The license was approved as a GPL-compatible free software license by the Free Software Foundation but its use is “not recommended.”[1] The OSI rejected the license,[2] but the WTFPL is accepted as copyfree license.[6]

Characteristics[edit]

The license intends to be extremely permissive, public domain like license and allows every use. Unlike some other permissive licenses licenses, it doesn't include warranty disclaimer.[7] It's also not a copyleft license (like the GPL).

WTFPL differs from public domain in that an author can use this license if they do not necessarily have the ability to place their work in the public domain according to their local laws.[8] Its license clauses are considered as similar as possible to a dedication in public domain, working also in civil law countries (for instance Law of Germany) where such dedication isn't possible.[7] A similar license for other artworks could be the CC0, launched in March 2009 by Creative Commons.[9][8]

Because, in contrast to the MIT and other OSI-approved licenses, WTFPL does not disclaim warranties including warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose, nor does it expressly disclaim liability for unintended damage caused by the software, anyone who modifies or redistributes WTFPL software may therefore be subject to a host of legal obligations and duties which run counter to expectations produced by the text of the license.

Because of these issues, OSI rejected this license with "It's no different from dedication to the public domain. Author has submitted license approval request -- author is free to make public domain dedication. Although he agrees with the recommendation, Mr. Michlmayr notes that public domain doesn't exist in Europe. Recommend: Reject".[10]

Terms[edit]

Version 1[edit]

do What The Fuck you want to Public License

Version 1.0, March 2000
Copyright (C) 2000 Banlu Kemiyatorn (]d).
136 Nives 7 Jangwattana 14 Laksi Bangkok
Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies
of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.

Ok, the purpose of this license is simple
and you just

DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT TO.

WTFPL badge

Version 2[edit]

The text of the license:[5]

           DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT TO PUBLIC LICENSE
                   Version 2, December 2004

Copyright (C) 2004 Sam Hocevar <sam@hocevar.net>

Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim or modified
copies of this license document, and changing it is allowed as long
as the name is changed.

           DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT TO PUBLIC LICENSE
  TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR COPYING, DISTRIBUTION AND MODIFICATION

 0. You just DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT TO.

Reception and discussion[edit]

The license is not in wide use among open source projects. Some software has been released under it, like the OpenStreetMap Potlatch online editor.[11]

The Open Source Initiative has chosen in 2009 not to include the license in their list, as "it's no different from dedication to the public domain", despite the fact that public domain doesn't exist in civil law European countries.[12]

The WTFPL v2 is an accepted copyfree license.[6] It is also accepted by Fedora as a free license and GPL compatible.[13]

Some software authors said that the license is not serious, because it includes the word fuck.[14][15] Therefore forks and variants of the license were created to address perceived profanity,[16] wording ambiguity,[17] and liability[18] concerns.

Jeff Atwood announced in 2007 his sympathy with the WTFPL in an essay about software licenses on his website: "If I had my way, everything would be released under the WTFPL.".[19]

Eric S. Raymond interpreted the license as written satire against the restrictions of the GPL and other software licenses.[20] Sam Hocevar later confirmed that the WTFPL is a parody of the GPL.[21] Nina Paley considered the WTFPL a free license for cultural works.[22]

Effectiveness as license or waiver[edit]

As the WTFPL is up to now untested in court and also misses broader legal analysis, the legal validity in jurisdictions remains unclear.

According to the WIPO copyright transfer or licence may have to meet particular formal requirements in order to be effective.[23] For example, in the United States copyright is specifically the right to copy, make derivative works, distribute, perform, or display.[24] As an agreement between two parties, an effective license must make the material terms of the rights and obligations granted to recipients clear and unambiguous.[25] The WTFPL never explicitly specifies the rights and obligations a recipient of the work is granted, and may therefore not grant any rights at all because copyright rights default to being exclusive to the author in the United States.[26] On the other hand, others like Daniel J. Bernstein, see only little formality required for an effective public domain transfer, so while the WTFPL could be an ineffective license it could be an effective public domain waiver.[27]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Licenses - Free Software Foundation". Free Software Foundation. 
  2. ^ a b c "OSI Board Meeting Minutes, Wednesday, March 4, 2009". Open Source Initiative. 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2013-04-03. [...] the following licenses to be discussed and approved/disapproved by the Board. [...] WTFPL Submission: [...] Comments: It's no different from dedication to the public domain. Author has submitted license approval request -- author is free to make public domain dedication. Although he agrees with the recommendation, Mr. Michlmayr notes that public domain doesn't exist in Europe. Recommend: Reject 
  3. ^ Version 1.0 license
  4. ^ Window Maker WTFPL
  5. ^ a b Sam Hocevar. "WTFPL 2.0". 
  6. ^ a b licenses on copyfree.org
  7. ^ a b Sam Hocevar (27 December 2012). "Frequently Asked Questions". WTFPL – Do What the Fuck You Want to Public License. Retrieved 25 December 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Validity of the Creative Commons Zero 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication and its usability for bibliographic metadata from the perspective of German Copyright Law by Dr. Till Kreutzer, attorney-at-law in Berlin, Germany
  9. ^ https://creativecommons.org/weblog/2009/03/11/13304
  10. ^ "OSI Board Meeting Minutes, Wednesday, March 4, 2009". Open Source Initiative. 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2013-04-03. 
  11. ^ "Potlatch 2 LICENCE.txt". GitHub. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  12. ^ "OSI Board Meeting Minutes, Wednesday, March 4, 2009". Open Source Initiative. 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2013-04-03. 
  13. ^ Licensing on fedoraproject.org
  14. ^ Please change license from WTFPL (e.g. to GPL) "The code is covered by http://sam.zoy.org/wtfpl. This license is, to put it mildly, rude and offending."
  15. ^ On Open Source licensing by Kuba Suder "There are at least two not very serious licenses which have essentially the same meaning as public domain. I’m talking about the Beerware license and WTFPL (“Do What The Fuck You Want To” license). I really like these because they pretty well represent my opinion about the legalese bullshit that most licenses are so full of."
  16. ^ WPL on github.com by DarwinAwardWinner (23 Jan 2012)
  17. ^ Introducing WTFPL v3 on theiostream - Random thoughts! (2012-03-24)
  18. ^ wtfnmfpl-1.0 on tldrlegal.com
  19. ^ Pick a License, Any License on codinghorror.com (03 Apr 2007)
  20. ^ Eric S. Raymond (2010-05-19). "Software licenses as conversation". esr.iblio.org. It’s even clearer that the Do What the Fuck You Want To Public License is a satire. The author is one of those who thinks the Free Software Foundation has traduced the word “free” by hedging the GNU General Public License about with restrictions and boobytraps in the name of “freedom” – and he’s got an issue or two with BSD as well. He is poking fun at both camps, not gently at all. His page about the WTFPL is funny-because-it’s-true hilarious, and I admit that I feel a sneaking temptation to start using it myself. 
  21. ^ should-i-change-the-name-of-the-wtfpl "The WTFPL is a parody of the GPL, which has a similar copyright header and list of permissions to modify (i.e. none), see for instance gnu.org/licenses/gpl-3.0.en.html. The purpose of the WTFPL wording is to give more freedom than the GPL does. – Sam Hocevar" on programmers.stackexchange.com (Sep 21 2015)
  22. ^ How To Free Your Work on questioncopyright.org by Nina Paley (2011-06-24)
  23. ^ http://www.bitlaw.com/copyright/scope.html
  24. ^ contract vs license on law.washington.edu
  25. ^ https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/106
  26. ^ publicdomain on cr.yp.to

External links[edit]