I’ve gotten a few e-mails and comments to the effect that instead of using a Creative Commons license for S5, I should use GPL instead. One of the reasons given to me was that the Creative Commons licenses are not considered appropriate for software, according to the Creative Commons folks.
My other problem with GPL is that it’s long and stunningly legalistic. It kind of has to be, and I think that’s great for the purpose for which it’s intended. To ‘protect’ things like S5 or the Color Blender, the GPL kind of feels like protecting a kitten with the 82nd Armored Division. What I like about the CC licenses is that they’re easily understandable; even the “lawyer-friendly” versions are compact and mostly understandable. In perusing the list of licenses over at the Free Software Foundation, I quickly got a headache. The one license that seemed the closest fit is the Expat license. But even there, given the way it’s written, I come up against the question: is a confederation of markup, styles, and client-side code really “software”?
So what to do? Stick with the CC license? Move to Expat? Plunge into GPL-land? Come up with my own variant license based on Expat or something similarly simple? I’d be interested to hear people’s opinions—especially those of you who have faced the same question, or a similar question, in the past.
I’m still a little bit bemused that it’s even a question, and a little bit dismayed that ours is the kind of world where I really do have to worry about this sort of thing.