Poetic License

Poetic License

The Poetic License is both a poem and a permissive BSD-styled license, originally based on the text of the MIT and ISC licenses. The two-clauses follow the disclaimer, both rendered as five line limericks. Variations of the license notice, since first published in 2005, differ slightly, typically in singular or plural attribution.

License terms

The license is as follows:

(c) This work ‘as-is’ we provide. No warranty, express or implied. We’ve done our best, to debug and test. Liability for damages denied. Permission is granted hereby, to copy, share, and modify. Use as is fit, free or for profit. On this notice these rights rely.

Comparison to other licenses

The Poetic License is most similar to the MIT License except the ordering of terms and disclaimer. Note the MIT License disclaimer begins:

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, ... IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, ...

The first line of the terms is a reordering of the MIT wording 'Permission is hereby granted', but follows the ISC wording more closely thereafter: Permission to use, copy, modify, and/or distribute this software for any purpose with or without fee is hereby granted, provided that the above copyright notice and this permission notice appear in all copies.

Aside from rhyming, the Poetic License is unique in its use of the first person, rather than passive legalese form, as well as the assurance of best effort. Many such licenses specifically distinguish between text and software, while the Poetic License may be applied to any work. Unlike other BSD-styled licenses, which explicitly require the copyright notice and 'this' notice to appear in all copies of software and documentation, the Poetic License is vague as to the condition upon which these rights are granted. 'These rights, on this notice, rely' implies that the notice must remain in all copies, shared and/or modified.

See also

*Permissive and copyleft licences

External links

* [http://genaud.net/2005/10/poetic-license/ Original text] by Alex Genaud.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Poetic license — Poetic Po*et ic, Poetical Po*et ic*al, a. [L. po[ e]ticus, Gr. ?: cf. F. po[ e]tiquee.] 1. Of or pertaining to poetry; suitable for poetry, or for writing poetry; as, poetic talent, theme, work, sentiments. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. Expressed in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • poetic license — license or liberty taken by a poet, prose writer, or other artist in deviating from rule, conventional form, logic, or fact, in order to produce a desired effect. [1780 90] * * * ▪ literature       the right assumed by poets to alter or invert… …   Universalium

  • poetic license — n. 1. deviation from strict fact or from conventional rules of form, style, etc., as by a poet for artistic effect 2. freedom to do this …   English World dictionary

  • poetic license — noun license used by a writer or artist to heighten the effect of their work • Hypernyms: ↑license, ↑licence * * * poˌetic ˈlicence [poetic licence] (NAmE poˌe …   Useful english dictionary

  • poetic license — the way in which writers and other artists are allowed to ignore rules or change facts in their work. It s obvious the writer was using a certain amount of poetic licence because the route she mentions has been closed for 50 years …   New idioms dictionary

  • poetic license — noun Date: 1819 license 4 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • poetic license — po,etic license noun uncount the freedom to change facts or events, or to ignore rules when you are writing something in order to communicate your meaning more clearly …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • poetic license — poet′ic li′cense n. pro license or liberty, esp. as taken by a poet or other writer, in deviating from conventional form, logic, fact, etc., to produce a desired effect • Etymology: 1780–90 …   From formal English to slang

  • Poetic — Po*et ic, Poetical Po*et ic*al, a. [L. po[ e]ticus, Gr. ?: cf. F. po[ e]tiquee.] 1. Of or pertaining to poetry; suitable for poetry, or for writing poetry; as, poetic talent, theme, work, sentiments. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. Expressed in metrical… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • License — Li cense (l[imac] sens), n. [Written also {licence}.] [F. licence, L. licentia, fr. licere to be permitted, prob. orig., to be left free to one; akin to linquere to leave. See {Loan}, and cf. {Illicit}, {Leisure}.] 1. Authority or liberty given… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”