G+: Neat little no-fuss website to help you choose …

David Coles
Neat little no-fuss website to help you choose a licence for your software (from the Github folks).

Choosing an OSS license doesn’t need to be scary - ChooseALicense.com

(+1's) 1
Matt Giuca
Hmm, I'm not sure I like how simple this is. I think it's a good idea to make choosing a license "as simple as possible, and no simpler", but I think this is too simplified (and hence, too opinionated).

Firstly, I don't like that they have just three licenses to choose from in the non-advanced view. If there were more than three, it would be unwieldy, but I think they should provide a mini survey (basically an interactive flow chart) and then tell you at the end the most appropriate license(s).

Secondly, I don't like that it is specifically opinionated against the GPLv3. The big button above "I care about sharing" links to GPLv2, despite it having been superseded for six years. It is an oversimplification to say that GPLv3 just restricts use on hardware-locked devices. It also has much better patent protection, as well as being written in much more watertight and international legal language (GPLv2 is really written for an American legal system). I think that telling people to use GPLv2 by default is a bit like telling people to use Python v2 by default -- the replacement has been out for many many years and you should use it unless you have a specific reason not to. Also, the GPLv3 should be under the "I'm concerned about patents" section, because it has specific patent protections.

Lastly, the advice in "You don't have to [choose a license]" is clumsy. This is one part that should be more opinionated. If you are releasing open source software, you do have to choose a license. If you don't, then you aren't releasing open source software. You are releasing proprietary software, but you happen to be giving people the ability to see your source code (but they have no legal right to use it). I think there is a dangerous amount of software out there which has been released with the best intentions, but without a license, so it's useless. The last thing we need is to spread the idea that it's okay to not have a license. If anything, the key message of a site like this ought to be "if you just want to release your software and don't care about licenses, then just pick one (probably a permissive one), but for God's sake, don't not choose a license." (In other words, I agree with the text on that page, but it is not strong enough, and the text on the main page gives the wrong impression.)