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Attempting to edit an answer on SO results in an error claiming that the answer has improperly formatted code. This does not appear to be true. I will attempt to post the exact answer here:

"UNLICENSED" means not licensed, while "unlicense", with no "d" at the end, refers to a license named "The Unlicense", which is something very different. To prevent confusion, and if you want to assert a copyright, you should point someone to your own internal license file.

Definitely DO NOT use:

{ "license": "unlicense" }

as suggested by the top voted answer if you wish to clearly communicate that you wish to have a copyright claim style license.

A clip from the first two paragraphs of the UNLICENSE license makes clear this has no relation at all to the OP's request to have a copyright claim:

This is free and unencumbered software released into the public domain.

Anyone is free to copy, modify, publish, use, compile, sell, or distribute this software, either in source code form or as a compiled binary, for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial, and by any means.

To the top voted answer's credit, the Node documentation page makes a claim that the use of the UNLICENSED option is to make it so you are not granting any rights to others:

if you do not wish to grant others the right to use a private or unpublished package under any terms:

This does not appear to be a safe choice for retaining your rights. You could infer that the lack of the extra "D" means these are two entirely different terms, but you can not assume that others will know that, and when they search for what the UNLICENSED license is, they may get the link to The Unlicense.

So, the following:

{ "license": "SEE LICENSE IN <filename>" }

is the safer answer at this time.

  • That last code block might need an extra 4 spaces. The two dashes after the first paragraph mean nothing, either put in three dashes. I believe formal common markdown expects a space after the >. I think the first paragraph contains enough special characters that might trip the contains code regex. I doubt if you can fix that. – rene Nov 16 at 0:03
  • @rene The last code block in my edit is using a three backtick block, an attempt to try something different than inline single backticks, so I'm not clear sure where I would add an extra 4 spaces. – ggriffin Nov 16 at 0:09
  • @rene In my attempted edit, I removed the two dashes after the first paragraph for the reason you stated. – ggriffin Nov 16 at 0:10
  • 1
    @rene It passed validation after I removed quotes around UNLICENSED, removed italics, reduced the text label for a link, added a space after each block >. Thanks! – ggriffin Nov 16 at 0:15
  • GG, if the FAQ doesn't answer your question we might fix that --- Since you asked: That's one reason to contribute here; as you have done these past eight years, earning a couple of hundred in reputation. – Rob Nov 16 at 0:55

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