For the artistic concept, see artistic licence.

The Artistic License is a software license used for certain free software packages, most notably the standard Perl implementation and most CPAN modules, which are dual-licensed under the Artistic License and the GNU General Public License (GPL). It was written by Larry Wall. The name of the license is a reference to the concept of artistic licence.

Whether or not the original Artistic License is a free software license is largely undecided. It was criticised by the Free Software Foundation as being "too vague; some passages are too clever for their own good, and their meaning is not clear."[1] They advised that the license not be used on its own, but recommended the common AL/GPL dual-licensing approach for Perl projects.

Clarified Artistic License[edit | edit source]

In response to this, Bradley Kuhn, who later worked for Free Software Foundation, made a minimal redraft to clarify the ambiguous passages. This was released as the Clarified Artistic License, and was approved by the FSF. It is used by the SNEeSe and FakeNES emulators, the Paros Proxy and NcFTP.

Artistic License 2.0[edit | edit source]

In response to the Request for comments process for improving the licensing position for Perl 6, Kuhn's draft was extensively rewritten by Roberta Cairney and Allison Randal for readability and legal clarity, with input from the Perl community. This resulted in the Artistic License 2.0 which has been approved as both a Free[2] and Open Source[3] license.

It is scheduled for adoption by the standard Perl implementation when version 6 is released, and has been used by the Parrot virtual machine since version 0.4.13.

External links[edit | edit source]


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