Appearance move to sidebar hide Do What the Fuck You Want To Public License
The WTFPL logo
AuthorBanlu Kemiyatorn, Sam Hocevar
Latest version2
PublisherSam Hocevar
SPDX identifierWTFPL
FSF approvedYes
OSI approvedNo
GPL compatibleYes
Linking from code with a different licenceYes

The WTFPL is a permissive free software license. As a public domain like license, the WTFPL is essentially the same as dedication to the public domain. It allows redistribution and modification of the work under any terms. The name is an abbreviation of Do What The Fuck You Want To Public License.

The first version of the WTFPL, released in March 2000, was written by Banlu Kemiyatorn for his own software project. Sam Hocevar, Debian's former project leader, wrote version 2.


The WTFPL intends to be a permissive, public-domain-like license. The license is not a copyleft license. The license differs from public domain in that an author can use it even if they do not necessarily have the ability to place their work in the public domain according to their local laws.

The WTFPL does not include a no-warranty disclaimer, unlike other permissive licenses, such as the MIT License. Though the WTFPL is untested in court, the official website offers a disclaimer to be used in software source code.


Version 2

The text of Version 2, the most current version of the license, written by Sam Hocevar:

DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT TO PUBLIC LICENSE Version 2, December 2004 Copyright (C) 2004 Sam Hocevar <[email protected]> Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim or modified copies of this license document, and changing it is allowed as long as the name is changed. DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT TO PUBLIC LICENSE TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR COPYING, DISTRIBUTION AND MODIFICATION 0. You just DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT TO.

Version 1

do What The Fuck you want to Public License Version 1.0, March 2000 Copyright (C) 2000 Banlu Kemiyatorn (]d). 136 Nives 7 Jangwattana 14 Laksi Bangkok Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not allowed. Ok, the purpose of this license is simple and you just DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT TO.



The WTFPL is not in wide use among open-source software projects; according to Black Duck Software, the WTFPL is used by less than one percent of open-source projects. Examples include the OpenStreetMap Potlatch online editor, the video game Liero (version 1.36), yalu102 and MediaWiki extensions. More than 5,000 Wikimedia Commons files and more than 24,000 Projects on GitHub were published under the terms of the WTFPL.


The license was confirmed as a GPL-compatible free software license by the Free Software Foundation, but its use is "not recommended". In 2009, the Open Source Initiative chose not to approve the license as an open-source license due to redundancy with the Fair License.

The WTFPL version 2 is an accepted Copyfree license. It is also accepted by Fedora as a free license and GPL-compatible.

Some software authors have said that the license is not very serious; forks have tried to address wording ambiguity and liability concerns. OSI founding president Eric S. Raymond interpreted the license as written satire against the restrictions of the GPL and other software licenses; WTFPL version 2 author Sam Hocevar later confirmed that the WTFPL is a parody of the GPL. Free-culture activist Nina Paley said she considered the WTFPL a free license for cultural works.

Google does not allow its employees to contribute to projects under public domain equivalent licenses like the WTFPL (and Unlicense CC0), while allowing contributions to 0BSD licensed and US government PD projects.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Various Licenses and Comments about Them". GNU Operating System. Free Software Foundation.
  2. ^ a b "OSI Board Meeting Minutes, Wednesday, March 4, 2009". Open Source Initiative. 2009-03-04. Archived from the original on 2016-03-16. Retrieved 2013-04-03. the following licenses to be discussed and approved/disapproved by the Board. WTFPL Submission: Comments: It's no different from dedication to the public domain. Author has submitted license approval request -- author is free to make public domain dedication. Although he agrees with the recommendation, Mr. Michlmayr notes that public domain doesn't exist in Europe. Recommend: Reject. Mr. Michlmayr did not agree with the reasons cited for possible rejection of the WFTPL license since public domain doesn't exist in Europe. Mr. Michlmayr moved that we reject the WFTPL as redundant to the Fair License.
  3. ^ a b Sam Hocevar (2012-12-27). "Frequently Asked Questions". WTFPL – Do What the Fuck You Want to Public License. Archived from the original on 2013-12-25. Retrieved 2016-07-19.
  4. ^ a b Sam Hocevar (2012-12-26). "WTFPL version 2". Archived from the original on 2016-07-15. Retrieved 2016-07-19.
  5. ^ Kreutzer, Till. "Validity of the Creative Commons Zero 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication and its usability for bibliographic metadata from the perspective of German Copyright Law" (PDF). Büro für informationsrechtliche Expertise. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-05-25. Retrieved 2015-12-29.
  6. ^ "The MIT License". Open Source Initiative.
  7. ^ "Top Open Source Licenses". Black Duck Software. Archived from the original on 2016-05-10.
  8. ^ "LICENCE.txt". Potlatch 2. GitHub. December 2004. Retrieved 2012-01-16.
  9. ^ "license.txt". Liero official website. 2013-09-03. Retrieved 2016-07-12. The original Liero data and binary files are copyright 1998 Joosa Riekkinen
    They are, unless otherwise stated, available under the WTFPL license:
  10. ^ "incomplete iOS 10.2 jailbreak for 64 bit devices by qwertyoruiopz and marcograssi". GitHub. 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2022-10-06.
  11. ^ "Category:WTFPL licensed extensions". MediaWikiWiki. 2016. Retrieved 2016-07-19.
  12. ^ "Category:WTFPL". Wikimedia Commons. 2018. Retrieved 2022-09-30.
  13. ^ "Build software better, together". GitHub. Retrieved 2022-07-24.
  14. ^ "Copyfree Licenses". Copyfree. The Copyfree Initiative.
  15. ^ Callaway, Tom (2016-05-17). "Licensing:Main". Fedora Project Wiki. Retrieved 2016-07-10.
  16. ^ Suder, Kuba (2011-01-15). "On Open Source licensing". Apples & Rubies (Blog). There are at least two not very serious licenses which have essentially the same meaning as public domain. I'm talking about the Beerware license and WTFPL ('Do What The Fuck You Want To' license). I really like these because they pretty well represent my opinion about the legalese bullshit that most licenses are so full of.
  17. ^ theiostream (2012-03-24). "Introducing WTFPL v3" (Blog). tumblr. Archived from the original on July 5, 2014. Retrieved 2016-07-19.
  18. ^ Ben McGinnes (2013-10-01). "Do What The Fuck You Want To But It's Not My Fault Public License v1 (WTFNMFPL-1.0)". tl;drLegal. Archived from the original on 2016-04-23. Retrieved 2016-07-19. … with a CYA clause ….
  19. ^ Eric S. Raymond (2010-05-19). "Software licenses as conversation" (Blog). Retrieved 2016-07-19. It's even clearer that the Do What the Fuck You Want To Public License is a satire. The author is one of those who thinks the Free Software Foundation has traduced the word 'free' by hedging the GNU General Public License about with restrictions and boobytraps in the name of 'freedom' – and he's got an issue or two with BSD as well. He is poking fun at both camps, not gently at all. His page about the WTFPL is funny-because-it's-true hilarious, and I admit that I feel a sneaking temptation to start using it myself.
  20. ^ Sam Hocevar (2015-09-21). "Should I change the name of the WTFPL?". Programmers Stack Exchange (User comment). Retrieved 2016-07-19. The WTFPL is a parody of the GPL, which has a similar copyright header and list of permissions to modify (i.e. none), see for instance The purpose of the WTFPL wording is to give more freedom than the GPL does.
  21. ^ Nina Paley (2011-06-24). "How To Free Your Work". Archived from the original on 2016-08-20. Retrieved 2016-07-19.
  22. ^ "Open Source Patching". Retrieved 2020-09-29.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to WTFPL.