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Open Source Licensing

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This was mentioned in another thread so I thought I would post it.


What You Need to Know

Whether you produce open-source software or just use it to get your

job done, keeping track of the legal permissions and restrictions

specified by each different license can be a big hassle--and could

get you in trouble if you're not careful. To help you keep things

in order, here's a quick review of some of the more popular open- source licenses and their most notable features:

Artistic License

 - The source code of programs under this license

   must be made available to anyone who requests it.

 - Aggregate distributions of more than one program can be sold.

 - Derivative works need not be under the same license

   but must be "freely available," as defined in the license.

 - Linking with proprietary software is permitted as long

   as it is through function calls.

Apache License

 - Essentially no restrictions except that redistributions

   must contain the copyright notice.

GNU General Public License (GPL)

 - Source code must be made available.

 - Users may make copies and/or redistribute the software.

 - Distributors can charge for the software.

 - Derivative works must be distributed under the same license.

 - Any software, including the libraries, can't be linked

   with proprietary software.

GNU Library General Public License (LGPL)

 - Software can be linked with proprietary software.

 - All other items are the same as the standard GPL.

Mozilla Public License

 - Source code must be made available.

 - Derivative works must be distributed under the

   same license.

 - The license author, Bruce Perens, actually recommends

   that people not use this license for their own projects

   because it was designed for Netscape, for a "specific

   business situation."

Original BSD License

 - Any advertising of products based on this license must

   acknowledge the authors (the University of California).

Public Domain

 - This is not truly a license, but rather the

   complete absence of one, since the author has

   explicitly surrendered all rights or the rights have


 - You may do with this product as you wish, including

   license your own version of it under your name.

X License

 - The advertising clause from the original BSD license

   no longer applies.


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