Big Time Public License 2.0.0much improved by generous feedback
This post is part of a series, Big Time License.
Happy to announce version 2.0.0 of the Big Time Public License, a software license that’s free for noncommercial and small-business use, with a guarantee of fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory terms for big-company users. This is thanks to recent enthusiasm and feedback, from Hacker News, Lobste.rs, and my friends and colleagues of the Artless Devices forum and PolyForm.
The whole text of the new version follows, with comments where there have been changes. As always, your thoughts are very welcome!
Big Time Public License
These terms let you use and share this software for noncommercial purposes and in small business for free, while also guaranteeing that paid licenses for big businesses will be available on fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory terms.
Note that this section now includes the full phrase “fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory”. It’s a FRAND commitment, and it says so.
In order to get any license under these terms, you must agree to them as both strict obligations and conditions to all your licenses.
You may use the software for any noncommercial purpose.
Personal use for research, experiment, and testing for the benefit of public knowledge, personal study, private entertainment, hobby projects, amateur pursuits, or religious observance, without any anticipated commercial application, count as use for noncommercial purposes.
Use by any charitable organization, educational institution, public research organization, public safety or health organization, environmental protection organization, or government institution counts as use for noncommercial purposes, regardless of the source of funding or obligations resulting from the funding.
You may use the software for the benefit of your company if it meets all these criteria:
- had fewer than 20 total individuals working as employees and independent contractors at all times during the last tax year
We’ve reduced this threshold from 100 to 20 individuals.
earned less than 1,000,000 USD (2019) total revenue in the last tax year
received less than 1,000,000 USD (2019) total debt, equity, and other investment in the last five tax years, counting investment in predecessor companies that reorganized into, merged with, or spun out your company
Adjust these dollar figures for inflation according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics’ consumer price index for all urban consumers, United States city average, for all items, not seasonally adjusted, with 1982–1984=100 reference base.
You may use the software for the benefit of your company:
for 128 days after your company stops qualifying under Small Business
indefinitely, if the licensor or their legal successor does not offer fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory terms for a commercial license for the software within 32 days of written request and negotiate in good faith to conclude a deal
Note the addition of an obligation to negotiate in good faith. No sending a proposal and then failing to follow through.
How to Request
If this software includes an address for the licensor or an agent of the licensor in a standard place, such as in documentation, software package metadata, or an “about” page or screen, try to request a fair commercial license at that address. If this package includes both online and offline addresses, try online before offline. If you can’t deliver a request that way, or this software doesn’t include any addressees, spend one hour online researching an address, recording all your searches and inquiries as you go, and try any addresses that you find. If you can’t find any addresses, or if those addresses also fail, that counts as failure to offer a fair commercial license by the licensor under Big Business.
Fair, Reasonable, and Nondiscriminatory Terms
Fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory terms may license the software perpetually or for a term, and may or may not cover new versions of the software. If the licensor advertises license terms and a pricing structure for generally available commercial licenses, the licensor proposes license terms and a price as advertised, and a customer not affiliated with the licensor has bought a commercial commercial license for the software on substantially equivalent terms in the past year, the proposal is fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory.
The clarifications around FRAND now live in this section, instead of definitions squirreled away at the bottom of the license.
The “as-advertised” safe harbor now extends to license terms as well as pricing. We’ve almost made more clear that the proposal needs to be in line with what’s advertised to qualify.
The clarifications around perpetual or not and with-updates or not remain.
The licensor grants you a copyright license to do everything with the software that would otherwise infringe the licensor’s copyright in it for any purpose allowed by these terms.
You must ensure that anyone who gets a copy of any part of the software from you also gets a copy of these terms or the URL for them above, as well as copies of any plain-text lines beginning with
Required Notice:that the licensor provided with the software. For example:
Required Notice: Copyright Yoyodyne, Inc. (http://example.com)
The licensor grants you a patent license for the software that covers patent claims the licensor can license, or becomes able to license, that you would infringe by using the software.
You may have “fair use” rights for the software under the law. These terms do not limit them.
No Other Rights
These terms do not allow you to sublicense or transfer any of your licenses to anyone else, or prevent the licensor from granting licenses to anyone else. These terms do not imply any other licenses.
If you make any written claim that the software infringes or contributes to infringement of any patent, your patent license for the software granted under these terms ends immediately. If your company makes such a claim, your patent license ends immediately for work on behalf of your company.
The first time you are notified in writing that you have violated any of these terms, or done anything with the software not covered by your licenses, your licenses can nonetheless continue if you come into full compliance with these terms, and take practical steps to correct past violations, within 32 days of receiving notice. Otherwise, all your licenses end immediately.
As far as the law allows, the software comes as is, without any warranty or condition, and the licensor will not be liable to you for any damages arising out of these terms or the use or nature of the software, under any kind of legal claim.
The licensor is the individual or entity offering these terms, and the software is the software the licensor makes available under these terms.
You refers to the individual or entity agreeing to these terms.
Your company is any legal entity, sole proprietorship, or other kind of organization that you work for, plus all organizations that have control over, are under the control of, or are under common control with that organization. Control means ownership of substantially all the assets of an entity, or the power to direct its management and policies by vote, contract, or otherwise. Control can be direct or indirect.
Your licenses are all the licenses granted to you for the software under these terms.
Use means anything you do with the software requiring one of your licenses.
Your thoughts and feedback are always welcome by e-mail.
back to top — edit on GitHub — revision history