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All content by Kyle E. Mitchell, who is not your lawyer.

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July 12, 2019

Polyform 1.0.0standard noncommercial software licenses at last

Polyform Project, which I helped to found, released version 1.0.0s of five new software licenses earlier this week.

If you’ve ever wanted a standard, noncommercial license for source code, Polyform has provided. I cannot overstate how overdue that is. Those of us who work in both software and media licensing have long seen obvious gaps comparing the full spectrum of Creative Commons licenses to those standardized for software. Authors of other media—music, art, film, and so on—have long had standardized licenses choices that software people did not.

Careful readers will notice the same plain, short style of the Blue Oak Model License and my own API Copyleft License. That is the result of more lawyers, technologists, and businesspeople than I could remember to list here. I am so happy to see plain, approachable language become more and more the norm in next-generation public software licenses.

Other readers will recall my previous solo attempt at a noncommercial software license: the noncommercial license for License Zero, Prosperity. That license saw adoption in surprising places, a testament to pent-up demand for terms of its kind.

Your thoughts and feedback are always welcome by e-mail.

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