- Do I have to include the whole license with my project or is a comment like
# Copyright by John Doe, 2011 Licensed under the MIT license: http://www.opensource.org/licenses/mit-license.phplegally sufficient?
- Do I have to include my real name or is an e-Mail or other alias legally waterproof?
- Is the year important? I would guess 'yes' as copyrights expire in most countries after a certain period. What happens if I don't?
- Should I use GPL over MIT? I tend towards MIT as it is more permissive and I don't care whether my scripts are commercially recycled.
There is a very good page on 'How to use GNU licenses for your own software'. The gnu website also makes suggestons on how to aply the licenses to your project (™Flimm). That covers a lot for the GPL.
Bottom line - license choice:
If you want to support free software, don't use too free a license. Disallowing commercial use gives free software an edge over proprietary programs. In theory with some licenses re-usage of your code must credit your original. But re-usage is difficult to proof and some corporations might just not credit you. However, if you do want to spread your software as wide as possible, i.e you don't care about commercial products using your software, then use MIT or LGPL. If in doubt use the more restrictive license and add a line, saying you may consider permitting uses outside of the license terms on a by-case basis. This way commercial users with a project worthy of your work have a chance.
Bottom line - copyright dispute:
Include as much information as you dare to make proving it's really your brainchild easier. Have a lawsuit over the ownership in the back of your head. Poor man's copyright is mailing a printed copy of your source to your home address. If the envelope is unbroken, the postmark is valid evidence at court and provides a date and a verified address. An e-mail instead of your full name to identify you should be okay and sufficient proof but: Better safe, than sorry.