Licensing In Beaversource
- Licensing In Beaversource
- Why Licensing Is Important
- More Information About Licenses
A license is a contract of permissions granted by a party ("licensor") to another party ("licensee") as a means of agreement. When a person, company, or institution creates something original—literature, music, art, ideas, discoveries, inventions, words, phrases, symbols, designs, software—the creators have rights that control who can use, reproduce, and modify their work for either commercial or non-commercial purposes. Licensing is based on copyright.
Why Licensing Is Important
One of the main questions that crop up about licensing is "Why do I need a license?" When you create a piece of original work, you first have to evaluate what you used to create it. Did you use something--sourcecode, images, ideas, words--from someone else? If so, depending on the license the creator of this material uses, you may not be able to validate your work's originality without giving them credit. If you follow the permissions defined by their license, your work is legally protected and, in a similar way, your license then protects you from others who want to use your material unlawfully without following the permissions your license allows. In some cases, as with a Creative Commons license, you can allow others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your creation.
There are a few components in Creative Commons license that you need to think about before licensing your work. The four components below are adapted from http://creativecommons.org/about/licenses/.
You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work — and derivative works based upon it — but only if they give credit the way you request.
You allow others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your work.
You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your work — and derivative works based upon it — but for noncommercial purposes only.
No Derivative Work
You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform only verbatim copies of your work, not derivative works based upon it.
With a Creative
With a Creative Commons license, you keep your copyright but allow people to copy and distribute your work provided they give you credit — and only on the conditions you specify. For those new to Creative Commons licensing, they've prepared a list of things to think about. If you want to offer your work with no conditions or you want to certify a work as public domain, choose one of their public domain tools.
This is a free-software license authored by the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). This Apache License requires preservation of the copyright notice and disclaimer, but it is not a copyleft license — it allows use of the source code for the development of proprietary software as well as free and open source software.
Simplified BSD License (3 Clause)
Simplified (Modified) BSD Licenses represent a family of permissive free software licenses. The original was used for the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD), a Unix-like operating system after which the license is named. These licenses have a few restrictions compared to other free software licenses such as the GNU General Public License or even the default restrictions provided by copyright, putting it relatively closer to the public domain. The typical BSD license contains 3 major clauses, allowing unlimited redistribution for any purpose as long as its copyright notices and the license's disclaimers of warranty are maintained. The license also contains a clause restricting use of the names of contributors for endorsement of a derived work without specific permission.
GNU General Public License 2.0 (GPL 2.0)
The GPL is the most popular and well-known example of the type of strong copyleft license that requires derived works to be available under the same copyleft. Under this philosophy, the GPL grants the recipients of a computer program the rights of the free software definition and uses copyleft to ensure the freedoms are preserved, even when the work is changed or added to. This is in distinction to permissive free software licenses, of which the BSD licenses are the standard examples. According to Richard Stallman (author of GPL 2.0), the major change in GPLv2 was the "Liberty or Death" clause, as he calls it — Section 7. This section says that if somebody has restrictions imposed that prevent him or her from distributing GPL-covered software in a way that respects other users' freedom (for example, if a legal ruling states that he or she can only distribute the software in binary form), he or she cannot distribute it at all.
Lesser General Public License (Lesser GPL)
The GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) is a modified, more permissive, version of the GPL, originally intended for some software libraries. It is designed as a compromise between the strong-copyleft GNU General Public License and permissive licenses such as the BSD licenses. The LGPL places copyleft restrictions on the program itself but does not apply these restrictions to other software that merely links with the program. There are, however, certain other restrictions on this software. The LGPL is primarily used for software libraries, although it is also used by some stand-alone applications, most notably Mozilla and OpenOffice.org.
GNU General Public License 3.0 (GPL 3.0)
The most important changes between GPL 3.0 and GPL 2.0 are in relation to software patents, free software license compatibility, the definition of "source code" and hardware restrictions on software modification ("tivoization"). Other changes relate to internationalisation, how license violations are handled, and how additional permissions can be granted by the copyright holder. Other notable changes include allowing authors to add certain additional conditions or requirements to their contributions. One of those new optional requirements, sometimes referred to as the Affero clause, is intended to fulfill a request regarding software as a service; the permitting addition of this requirement makes GPL 3.0 compatible with the Affero General Public License.
Microsoft Public License (MPL)
This is the least restrictive of the Microsoft licenses and allows for distribution of compiled code for either commercial or non-commercial purposes under any license that complies with the Microsoft Public License. Redistribution of the source code itself is permitted only under this specific license. According to the Free Software Foundation, it is a free software license that is incompatible with the GNU General Public License.
Eclipse Public License
The Eclipse Public License (EPL) is an open source software license used by the Eclipse Foundation for its software. It replaces the Common Public License and removes certain terms relating to patent litigation. The Eclipse Public License is designed to be a business friendly free software license, and features weaker copyleft provisions than contemporary licenses such as the GNU General Public License. The receiver of EPL-licensed programs can use, modify, copy and distribute the work and modified versions, in some cases being obligated to release their own changes. The EPL is approved by the Open Source Initiative and the Free Software Foundation.
More Information About Licenses
- Wikipedia "License" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/License
- Wikibooks "Free Opensoure Licensing" - http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/FOSS_Licensing
Cross-Licensing - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross-licensing
Intellectual Property - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellectual_property
- "Cultivating the Public Domain" - http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Cultivating_the_Public_Domain
- Wikipedia "Public Domain" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain
- "10 Big Myths about copyright explained" by Brad Templeton - http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html
- U.S. Copyright Office's Frequently Asked Questions - http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/
- Wikipedia, "Copyright" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright