back to article Open sourcers urged to adopt dancing poultry license

In an effort to revolutionize the world of open source, a free software advocate has submitted a new license to the Open Source Initiative. The document is two years in the making, and it's known as the CDL, short for Chicken Dance License. "The purpose of this license is to make intellectual property far more entertaining to …


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  1. Anomalous Cowturd
    Thumb Up


    I can go with that.

    1. Goat Jam


      I would prefer they banned a more annoyingly overused marketing buzz word, such as "paradigm" or "innovate" but I agree with the sentiment

  2. Steen Hive
    Thumb Up

    CDL License

    Still marginally less restrictive and much less onerous than complying with the ridiculous amount of unenforceable and arbitrary shit included in the average proprietary EULA.

  3. Dave N
    Thumb Down

    Not seeing the funny side

    This is just what open source needs - to be taken less seriously. I spent the best part of today convincing the enterprise that open source is a good idea, and winning developers around. If they see this, I'll have to start all over again. Seriously.

    1. Doug Glass

      And ...

      ... demonstrate the chicken dance! Put on your dancing shoes IT and belly up to the feed trough.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Gates Horns


      ...people take closed source seriously, in spite of click-through licenses, ridiculous support contracts, EULAs with unenforcable claims, patent retardedness, lawyers' stench, NDAs, copyright shenanigans up your rear, vendor lock-in, money extortion AND the BSA breaking down your door to check company policy.


  4. Steve Brooks

    chicken dance

    This sounds good, I think we should adopt this for politics. At the moment in AU the going punishment for lies by politicians seems to be a pat on the back from fellow politicians and a dismissive attitude to public complaints. It would be useful if all polticians caught out in a lie were made to do the chicken dance on national TV once a week every week for every lie they told. The problem is this could lead to a pushing aside of the current schedule of programs and result in solid polly chicken dance 24 hours a day, so we would need a special channel.

    Oh dear, silly me, we already have that in Australia, its called "question time live!"

    1. Skydreamer

      Not the Chicken Dance, but one pollie did the hokey pokey and timewarp

      Aussie Liberal Senator Fisher in full flight

    2. Goat Jam
      Paris Hilton

      "pushing aside of the current schedule"

      And this is a problem because . . . . ?

  5. Anonymous Coward
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    "adopt this for politics"

    I heartily support this idea for Canada. The entire lying Harper cadre would be kept so busy chicken dancing, they would have no time left to do other harm to the country.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    It's FUD for the GPL

    Just one drawback or conversely a design feature - the thought of Richard Stallman doing the chicken dance is enough to drive anyone exclusively to the GPL.

    Anyway, I think I mentioned plinth, but I think I got away with it.

    1. A J Stiles


      RMS is highly unlikely ever to invoke the clause requiring him to perform the Chicken Dance.GNU software is made available on the GNU download site in Source Code form only. It's the kernel distributors who make binary rpm/deb packages ...

      1. supertunaman


        It's CE companies that use CDL'd libraries to make DVD players or whatever without producing source code. Packagers are fine if they provide source code, which they do. I might make a point to clarify that in the license text.

  7. amanfromearth

    Calendar problem

    It's not April 1st yet.

    1. Frank Haney

      My thoughts exactly

      Was this a press release that should have been embargoed until the beginning of next month? The joke doesn't work otherwise. It's just to silly.

    2. dlc.usa


      I'm blowing the whistle and calling, "False start!" This jumping-the-gun has simply got to be dealt with. On the restart the offenders must compete in chicken suits. On your marks, get set, wait another 48 hours...

    3. adrianww

      You took the words...

      ...etc. etc.

  8. Philip Hands

    Here's the thread at the OSI ...

    Simon and the others seem to have missed the fact that clause 4 is optional, as it only applies to people who want to avoid distributing source, so the fact that some of the non-free users get discriminated against seems like an irrelevance to me.

    The thing that is problematic to me is that it makes the chicken clause dependent on distribution of source, but doesn't really define which source we're talking about -- whether that was the source one got before any modification, or after any changes that went to make the binary being distributed. Even that doesn't seem to make it non-free, since if one behaved as though the software were under the GPL (except for linking it against real GPL software), it's clear that one would not then be obliged to dance, so it cannot be less Open/Free than the GPL.

    It's a shame it's GPL incompatible though -- I could imagine using it for a laugh if it were not for that. Let's hope that this becomes another instance where the OSI and the FSF differ on their decisions -- it would be nice to have this as one in the grey area as being free but not open ;-)

    1. supertunaman

      Draft with us?

      Hi Phillip,

      We're currently drafting v0.2 of the CDL. I would love to have your input to help us make it more GPL-friendly. Take a look at and let us know what you think.

      We have contacted legal at FSF, and have yet to receive a response. Fedora and debian-legal hate us, and we didn't even ask Fedora!

      Only you, and possibly others as well, can make the dream of hilarious IP restrictions come alive!


      1. AdamWill


        Well, we only hate you because the license doesn't state the dance should be performed in a giant hot dog costume.

        1. Goat Jam
          Paris Hilton

          Beefy Miracle

          Ummm, isn't the hot dog pictured (nominally) made from pork? Granted that apart from a tiny bit of trotter and some pig lips left over from the dog food manufacturing process there is not that much pork in there but I wasn't aware that they even pretend that there is beef in a hot dog

          Or am I just irony impaired today?

          1. disgruntled yank

            hard to tell from the picture...

            I don't know about your neighborhood, but where I am it is easy to find a store selling the Hebrew National brand of hot dogs. These certainly do not contain pork (or I suppose dairy) products:

            Though why in the world you'd want to name a Linux distro Beefy Miracle is beyond me...

  9. Oliver Burkill

    PR gold

    If I were a star up software I would deliberately break this license for the massive online exposure it would give me when my company did the chicken dance. I would ham it up of course wearing a suit and looking uncomfortable. Then I would issue a statement saying I was very sorry and would abide by the license. Once again gaining massive positive publicity.

  10. Robert E A Harvey

    "people with disabilities or cultural obligations"

    I can work round this. We need another clause:

    * People for whom the chicken dance presents physical or cultural challenges may substitute any other activity considered similarly ludicrous in the appropriate culture or lifestyle. Nudity is not necessarily discouraged, but should be used to produce hilarity, not arousal. footnote: stage arrows through the head were never funny.

  11. BorkedAgain


    Monkey dance as an alternative for MS?

  12. Chad H.

    Calendar broken

    I think you released this a few days too early.

  13. Jango

    Lost in translation

    Entetanz in German would mean 'duck dance', anyone else notice this?

    1. supertunaman


      Chicken Dance has an interesting history. Read this when you're bored out of your mind sometime.

    2. Someone Else Silver badge

      Thank you

      Saved me from having to make a spurious this, waidaminnit...

  14. kissingthecarpet

    Isn't there one already?

    "Microsoft will introduce its own version, dubbed the Permissive Chicken Dance license, which will require anyone who uses its code to perform the Swiss polka until they die from exhaustion."

  15. Martin Maloney

    Do we have a winner?

    I hereby nominate Cade Metz, the author of the article, for the (oh, no, he's gonna say it, folks!) the pullet surprise.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      You swine.

      There's that vile sensation of Douwe Egberts' in the sinuses again.......


  16. Herby

    Adult supervision?

    Wasn't this covered on Sesame Street in the first episode when they introduced Big Bird?

    I seem to remember that they also had a song.

    This license brought to you by the letter Q and the number 6.

  17. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Gates Horns

    But surely

    No one can do the Chicken Dance.

    The balded one has patented already.

  18. cyberdemon Silver badge
    Gates Horns


    Sounds like Werner Thomas could sue a lot of would-be software licensing lawyers for Copyright Infringement!

  19. Jim 59


    We were amused for 1/100th of a second.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Chickens are...

    inherently funny:

  21. Martin Maloney

    I don't mean to egg anyone on...

    ...however, I find it strange that no one thus far has taken the author to task for not addressing that age-old question, to wit: Which came first, the chicken or the dance?

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