Software Licensing

WRATE - Software Licensing
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Know your software rights when it comes to software licensing.

  • Right to Use for Personal Purpose
  • Right to Copy
  • Right to Publish
  • Right to Distribute
  • Right to Modify
  • Right to Sell
  • Right to Sublicense

There are generally five software licensing types:

  1. Public Domain
  2. Permissive.
  3. Copyleft (Protective Licence)
  4. Non Commercial
  5. Proprietary

Public Domain

Licenses in this domain usually give you the following rights:

  • Right to Use for Personal Purpose
  • Right to Copy
  • Right to Publish
  • Right to Distribute
  • Right to Modify
  • Right to Sell
  • Right to Sublicense

Licenses in the public domain gives the user all the available rights. Example of public domain licenses: Creative Common Licence (CCO)

Permissive

Licenses in this domain usually give you the following rights:

  • Right to Use for Personal Purpose
  • Right to Copy
  • Right to Publish
  • Right to Distribute
  • Right to Modify
  • Right to Sell
  • Right to Sublicense

The licenses here are similar to the ones in the public domain with the clause that all derivates from the software (excluding binary linking) for distribution must have the same license as the parent. Example of permissive licenses: MIT

Copyleft

License in this domain usually give you the following rights:

  • Right to Use for Personal Purpose
  • Right to Copy
  • Right to Publish
  • Right to Distribute
  • Right to Modify

The licenses here enforces all derivates including binary linked software to be redistributed under the same license as the parent. Example of copyleft licenses: GNU GPL

Non Commercial

License in this domain usually give you the following rights:

  • Right to Use for Personal Purpose
  • Right to Copy
  • Right to Publish
  • Right to Distribute
  • Right to Modify

Very similar to the Copyleft licences explicitly stating the software or its modification cannot be used for commercial purposes. Example of Non commercial licenses: Aladdin Free Public License

Proprietary

This is the original copyright license giving the owner exclusive rights to own the software and sell the license to others. This is useful for softwares that cannot be made hidden from the public, an example is the source code of a webpage that can be easily inspected in a browser.

Other Special License Types:

GNU Lesser General Public License

This license is in between the Permissive and the Copyleft type. It is a permissive license if it is linked unmodified in your software as a compiled binary otherwise acts as a copyleft license if it is modified or some part of it used in your software.

Trade Secret

Similar to the proprietary license but fully made private and internal.

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