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I want to ask a recommendation for a license to apply to my open project. How do I ask these sorts of questions?

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In order to write a good license recommendation post, you'll need to ask yourself a few questions, so that the community can present you some of the best answers.

What is my project like? What am I trying to license?

Different licenses are intended for different things. As such, you need to tell us, what are you trying to license? Is it software? Is it hardware? What kind of software? Is it something artistic? Is it something practical? Telling us will allow us to know the idea and structure behind your project, allowing us to narrow down licenses that are specialized for those situations.

What third-party resources are included in my project?

If you are writing something like software, you may be utilizing other libraries. We need to know, what are these libraries? Many libraries can have an impact on how you are allowed to license your project, depending on the terms that they dictate. To be very helpful, tell us which licenses they use, if you can find them. Is there any files, such as images, or other code, textual content?

Who's your audience? What do you want them to be able to do with it?

Tell us who your project is aimed for. Who do you want the source to be used by? Are there any freedoms you want to grant? Are there any restrictions you want to place? Remember that as long as your intention is to have something open source, but you later discover that it is no longer possible, that's fine. It is still on-topic, as long as it is clear that you have attempted a try at open source.

What's the status of your project?

This is not so much of an important thing to tell us. It's a good thing to know, as the community might be able to incorporate recent events and help tailor their suggestions to incorporate consideration of these events.


Whatever the question may be, always be sure to be clear and specific with your question. Tell us exactly what you want, what you're flexible with, what you're open towards.

Have fun choosing a license!

  • 1
    What is the benefit of allowing all good faith questions, other than not upsetting the question asker? Does it actually contribute to our site and help it build up a body of knowledge on FLOSS? Doesn't it just dilute the site and give the impression that anything licensing related is allowed? I think a tighter rule should be made. I'm okay with all licenses in a family which includes some FLOSS to be allowed (such as the CC family), but I don't see why general non-FLOSS recommendations should be encouraged. – curiousdannii Feb 8 '17 at 1:13

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