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					                                Software Licenses

                                 Manuel Carro et al.

                                              e
                             Universidad Polit´cnica de Madrid


                                  e
                                Ja´n, April 22, 2009




                         This text is distributed under the license
                        Creative Commons License Share-Alike 2.5




M. Carro et al. (UPM)                  Software Licenses                e
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The World of Licenses: a Bird’s Eye View
                        Software Licenses




M. Carro et al. (UPM)       Software Licenses     e
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M. Carro et al. (UPM)      Software Licenses        e
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 M. Carro et al. (UPM)      Software Licenses        e
                                                   Ja´n, April 22, 2009   3 / 48
Preliminary Questions


   What is a Software License?

   What is it useful for?

   Why do I need it? Why may others need it?


   Ok, maybe I need it — but, which license should I choose?




   M. Carro et al. (UPM)    Software Licenses         e
                                                    Ja´n, April 22, 2009   4 / 48
Preliminary Questions


   What is a Software License?
           In short, a document stating the rights granted to a user
   What is it useful for?

   Why do I need it? Why may others need it?


   Ok, maybe I need it — but, which license should I choose?




   M. Carro et al. (UPM)           Software Licenses             e
                                                               Ja´n, April 22, 2009   4 / 48
Preliminary Questions


   What is a Software License?
           In short, a document stating the rights granted to a user
   What is it useful for?
           To state what the user and the author are allowed to do
   Why do I need it? Why may others need it?


   Ok, maybe I need it — but, which license should I choose?




   M. Carro et al. (UPM)           Software Licenses             e
                                                               Ja´n, April 22, 2009   4 / 48
Preliminary Questions


   What is a Software License?
           In short, a document stating the rights granted to a user
   What is it useful for?
           To state what the user and the author are allowed to do
   Why do I need it? Why may others need it?
           To make sure that your work is not used against your will
           (be it giving it away, making money out of it, . . . )
   Ok, maybe I need it — but, which license should I choose?




   M. Carro et al. (UPM)           Software Licenses             e
                                                               Ja´n, April 22, 2009   4 / 48
Preliminary Questions


   What is a Software License?
           In short, a document stating the rights granted to a user
   What is it useful for?
           To state what the user and the author are allowed to do
   Why do I need it? Why may others need it?
           To make sure that your work is not used against your will
           (be it giving it away, making money out of it, . . . )
   Ok, maybe I need it — but, which license should I choose?
           The one that suits your needs best
           But, please do not write another license!




   M. Carro et al. (UPM)           Software Licenses             e
                                                               Ja´n, April 22, 2009   4 / 48
Outline of the Talk



  1   Motivate the use of software licenses
  2   Examine where they come from
  3   Try to classify them
  4   Have a closer look at some real licenses
  5   Summarize the steps to give a license to a software project
  6   Just a word about patents
I will try not to advocate using Open Source Software or its business
model — but, inevitably, I will have to refer a lot to O.S. licenses




      M. Carro et al. (UPM)       Software Licenses        e
                                                         Ja´n, April 22, 2009   5 / 48
A Fictional Story: the Grown-Up Project
This history is, of course, not true
    Experimental academic software develops successfully
    Stabilizes over time and starts to be appreciated in the community
    Other people start to get seriously interested by it, but they ask:

    - Can I use it for my own research? I promise I’ll cite you.
    - Can I use it as part of something else and then let others use
    the combined product?
    - Can I use it together with other partners, some of which are
    industrial, in a joint project subject to some specific intellectual
    property rights?
    - Can I use it as part of a commercial product I want to market?
    - Can I sell what you have made? I’ll give you a share of the
    profit!


    M. Carro et al. (UPM)        Software Licenses          e
                                                          Ja´n, April 22, 2009   6 / 48
A Fictional Story: the Grown-Up Project (Cont.)

    15+ years of development
    Many developers, some of them students
    (i.e., no work contract with the institution)
    Some developers from other (foreign) universities with no
    affiliation whatsoever with the hosting institute
    All of them should agree in the terms of their contract
    Unclear who contributed to which file!
            Around 5200 files in several languages
            Some with uncertain / mixed author, uncertain history
    And – the hosting institution may claim rights on the work done in
    its premises
How to decide the terms to share the software in this case?


    M. Carro et al. (UPM)          Software Licenses           e
                                                             Ja´n, April 22, 2009   7 / 48
Another Story: the Big Project




    Large international project, involving industrial partners
    Care taken at the beginning to protect intellectual property
           Background (prior) and foreground knowledge
    Software is created more or less independently and, Bona Fide,
    organizations attach a license to what they are creating
    Interoperating when needed to ensure things work




   M. Carro et al. (UPM)        Software Licenses          e
                                                         Ja´n, April 22, 2009   8 / 48
Another Story: the Big Project (Cont.)


    Near the end of the project, software is put together
    However, despite working correctly, it is impossible to make a
    unified product:

                   Licenses attached to the different pieces are
                      incompatible and cannot be removed

    Of course some project manager can silently remove them during
    the night, but that would be unlawful
    We assume that we are dealing with legally binding text and that
    we want to act lawfully




   M. Carro et al. (UPM)            Software Licenses          e
                                                             Ja´n, April 22, 2009   9 / 48
I Want a License — Now!!


   Having selected the right license would have prevented these
   problems
           “Nobody told us”
           “We didn’t care”
           “We didn’t have time”
           “We didn’t agree”
           “It looked like a real mess, so we let it go...”
           Grim look: ‘Saying that is easy”
   Anyway, the time has come to do it
   But, where did it all start?




   M. Carro et al. (UPM)              Software Licenses         e
                                                              Ja´n, April 22, 2009   10 / 48
Copyright


    According to some sources, 16th century English writers
    complained that librarians printing their works without sharing the
    profit were (literally) leading them to starvation
    Hence, “Copy Right” — assignment of the right to make copies of a
    work
In Spanish
Copyright is better translated as derechos de autor, and usually referring
to these rights which pertain the performance, reproduction, etc. — not
to the moral rights on a work




    M. Carro et al. (UPM)      Software Licenses          e
                                                        Ja´n, April 22, 2009   11 / 48
Where Does the Copyright Come from?

    Copyright just exists, without the need to register anything
    Proving authorship is another thing
    Copyright can be transferred (and must be, in some cases)
    Copyright laws govern the enactment, transference, validity, extent,
    lawfulness of claimed copyrights
            E.g., who can translate a book, print it, play a song, perform a
            theater play... execute a computer program!

General note
Laws are in general different across countries. What is valid in one
country may not be valid at all in another country (cf. the law suit
against Pirate Bay administrators)



    M. Carro et al. (UPM)           Software Licenses            e
                                                               Ja´n, April 22, 2009   12 / 48
A Software License...
    is a legal instrument governing the usage or
    redistribution of copyright-protected software.

    States, assigns, or transfers copyright over
    software, in whole or in part.

Relevant question: which kind of copyright?




    M. Carro et al. (UPM)     Software Licenses     e
                                                  Ja´n, April 22, 2009   13 / 48
The Spoon and the Software
Or: why your software copy may not be a yours at all


Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 SDK EULAa
   a
       End-User License Agreement
        - 14.3 Return or Destroy. Upon termination of this agreement
        [...], you must return or destroy all full or partial copies of the
        Software in your possession or under your control within 30
        days. At our request, you will certify such return or destruction
        in writing.


        If you buy a spoon you are not required to “destroy or return it”
        Many software licenses do not give you the software
        Only the right to use it


       M. Carro et al. (UPM)         Software Licenses           e
                                                               Ja´n, April 22, 2009   14 / 48
Copy.. rights?
Upgrade to .NET license
    You may run the Software or modifications only on the Windows platform.


    When you buy a spoon you are not restricted on how to use it

End-user .net
    If you redistribute MSDE you agree to [...]: (a) not substantially duplicate
    the capabilities of Microsoft Access or, in the reasonable opinion of
    Microsoft, compete with same; and (b) unless your customers are required
    to license Microsoft Access, you shall not reproduce or use MSDE for
    commercial distribution in conjunction with a general purpose word
    processing, spreadsheet or database management software product, or an
    integrated work or product suite whose components include a general
    purpose word processing, spreadsheet, or database management software
    product [...]


    Licenses are hard to read
    M. Carro et al. (UPM)            Software Licenses              e
                                                                  Ja´n, April 22, 2009   15 / 48
Benchmarking
End-user .net
    You may not disclose the results of any benchmark test of the .NET
    Framework component of the Software to any third party without
    Microsoft’s prior written approval.


    Note you may benchmark, but not communicate the results
    I.e., you are optimizing some algorithms, you test them against similar
    .Net implementations, and you have to ask Microsoft before
    submitting the paper




    M. Carro et al. (UPM)           Software Licenses              e
                                                                 Ja´n, April 22, 2009   16 / 48
Benchmarking
End-user .net
    You may not disclose the results of any benchmark test of the .NET
    Framework component of the Software to any third party without
    Microsoft’s prior written approval.


    Note you may benchmark, but not communicate the results
    I.e., you are optimizing some algorithms, you test them against similar
    .Net implementations, and you have to ask Microsoft before
    submitting the paper
But, in the same license:
End-user .net
    if you give us any feedback about the Software, you give us, without
    charge, the right to use, share and commercialize your feedback in
    any way and for any purpose. You also agree to give third parties,
    without charge, any patent rights needed for their products or
    services to use or interface with any specific parts of our software or
    service that includes the feedback.

     M. Carro et al. (UPM)            Software Licenses              e
                                                                   Ja´n, April 22, 2009   16 / 48
Copyright Spirit
    These are example of the so-called proprietary licenses
    These (and others) copyright statements are actually not giving
    rights to the end user
    They are “promising” not to sue you for doing what is stated there
Misguided interpretation?
There are many who think this is a mischievous interpretation, and that
the copyright does what is written, and any moral judgment is out of
place.

    Of course companies have a complete right to market using
    whatever license they deem appropriate
    Customers have the right to question the appropriateness of the
    company’s terms (e.g., anti-guarantee!)
    And companies, in turn, have the right to question other
    competitor licenses
    M. Carro et al. (UPM)     Software Licenses         e
                                                      Ja´n, April 22, 2009   17 / 48
Which Other Licenses Are there?




   Unlimited
   In principle it can contain any agreement
   Hard to understand
   Hard to choose
   But somewhat classified




   M. Carro et al. (UPM)     Software Licenses     e
                                                 Ja´n, April 22, 2009   18 / 48
A Partial Categorization of Software Licenses
                                   Software license


               Non-free                          Free         Public domain


 Proprietary           Semi-free     Copy-lefted            Permissive


                            Strong                      Weak


           With Copyright

        Without Copyright

    M. Carro et al. (UPM)               Software Licenses                  e
                                                                         Ja´n, April 22, 2009   19 / 48
Free (as in Freedom)



   “Free/Libre” licenses have a Copyright
   Explicit permission for anyone to use, copy, modify, and distribute
   For a fee or for no fee (gratis)
   Implies source code is available (to modify it)
   Note: open source ≈ free/libre software
           Differences come from two different organizations
           Lists of approved licenses are in practice almost the same




   M. Carro et al. (UPM)           Software Licenses           e
                                                             Ja´n, April 22, 2009   20 / 48
Free/Libre, Copylefted


    Use Copyright laws to:
           Give rights to the user (use, copy, modify, . . . )
           Ensure these rights are forever (e.g., license is kept)
           Impose duties on the user
    Many possibilities to be Copyleft
    Majority of programs choose a variant of the GPL licenses
           Additional requirements for GPL-licensed software does not become
           proprietary
           Special provision for libraries
    Weak: not all possible derivatives are Copyleft




   M. Carro et al. (UPM)            Software Licenses            e
                                                               Ja´n, April 22, 2009   21 / 48
Free/libre, Permissive




    Gives rights to the user
    Does not ensure these are preserved
    Redistribution after a modification may be more restrictive than
    original license
    Examples: BSD, MIT, X Window




   M. Carro et al. (UPM)       Software Licenses       e
                                                     Ja´n, April 22, 2009   22 / 48
Non-Free

    We have seen some (of the proprietary kind)
    No ownership transferal
    Only usage permission
    Using software implies accepting license
 Proprietary usually distribute binaries, restrict what users can do with
             it, including, for example:
                   No redistribution
                   No decompilation
                   No modification
  Semi-free distribute source code, give freedom to use / copy /
            modify / redistribute, but does not protect it



    M. Carro et al. (UPM)      Software Licenses          e
                                                        Ja´n, April 22, 2009   23 / 48
Public Domain

   Essentially, whatever does not have copyright
           A bit messy to explain
           But, essentially: nothing can be asserted of P.D. software
   Not a type of free/libre software!
   Owned, collectively, by all humankind
   You can do whatever you want with it
   But you cannot prevent others from doing same
   Some works fall in P.D. after some time or by explicit actions by
   the copyright owner
   Law tremendously different across countries
   Exceptions exist



   M. Carro et al. (UPM)           Software Licenses            e
                                                              Ja´n, April 22, 2009   24 / 48
Other Cases


   Freeware unclear definition; usually licenses which allow
            redistribution but no modification or do not provide
            source code
  Shareware redistributable, but asked to pay a fee if used (then, you
            cannot make anything you want); source code not
            available
     Private home bred, free/libre in trivial sense, usually does not
             follow the sharing spirit of free/libre
Commercial orthogonal to libre/free: there are libre/free software
           which can be bought




    M. Carro et al. (UPM)      Software Licenses          e
                                                        Ja´n, April 22, 2009   25 / 48
Licenses: More in Depth
Some Software Licenses


   Some: there are many of them, and analyzing what they allow and
   what they do not is hard
   We saw already excerpts of some proprietary licenses
   We will see examples of some non-proprietary (free and non-free)
   Critical issue: compatibility
           Can two licenses be used at the same time in a project?
           If yes: sometimes one of them has to predate the other for the whole
           project
           Compatibility well studied by the FSF for the Gnu Public Licenses
           I do not know of any complete study of cross-compatibility




   M. Carro et al. (UPM)          Software Licenses           e
                                                            Ja´n, April 22, 2009   27 / 48
Case Study: University of Utah Research Foundation


   251 lines, 1800 words
   Non-free, as it does not allow commercial redistribution
           2.1 The Initial Developer Grant The UNIVERSITY hereby
           grants USER a world-wide, royalty-free, non-exclusive
           license, subject to third party intellectual property claims:
           [...]
           (d) No License is granted by UNIVERSITY for the
           Commercial Use of Covered Code under this License.
           [...]




   M. Carro et al. (UPM)       Software Licenses          e
                                                        Ja´n, April 22, 2009   28 / 48
Case Study: Simple Machines License


   70 lines, 1300 words
   Non-free, as it places too many restriction on the user:
           Cannot sell software
           Redistribution needs authorization
           This Package, Modified Packages, and derivative works may
           not be sold or released under any paid license.
           Any Distribution of this Package, whether as a Modified
           Package or not, requires express written consent from
           Simple Machines LLC.




   M. Carro et al. (UPM)          Software Licenses      e
                                                       Ja´n, April 22, 2009   29 / 48
Case Study: Apple License Public Source License 1.x

    Non-free, for many reasons
     No privacy Modified versions cannot be used privately without
                  publishing changes
    Centralized control Releases and uses other and R&D must be
                  notified to Apple
    Revocation at any time License revoked and prohibition to use all
                  or parts of the software if someone makes patent
                  infringement accusation
    Besides:
           Unfair: rights given by Apple different from what Apple has
           Incompatible with GPL
    Good to foster collaboration: “let users find and correct the bugs
    for you”


   M. Carro et al. (UPM)          Software Licenses           e
                                                            Ja´n, April 22, 2009   30 / 48
Case Study: The Netscape License


   Free, weak copyleft
   Not all users are equal:
           Netscape can use contributed code in any way they want (including
           proprietary software)
           Programmers don’t
   Does not make software non-free, but confuses people (looks like a
   copyleft)
   Not compatible with GPL
           You cannot combine NL-covered and GPL-covered code in a single
           program
   Changes to circumvent these problems have been suggested




   M. Carro et al. (UPM)         Software Licenses          e
                                                          Ja´n, April 22, 2009   31 / 48
Case Study: the Original BSD License
   Permissive (i.e., free), non-copyleft, with a problematic clause:
                  3. All advertising materials mentioning features or use of this
                  software must display the following acknowledgment:
                  This product includes software developed by the University of
                  California, Berkeley and its contributors.
   No problem: advertising is easy (just a line in an ad!)
   Contributors started to change University of California, Berkeley by
   University of X in their files: 75 different sentences in BSD
   You cannot put them all in an advertisement!
   Therefore the operating system can just not be advertised!
   UCB removed the clause in 1999
   However, every developer had to agree on removing it from his/her
   file for products made before that date




   M. Carro et al. (UPM)              Software Licenses           e
                                                                Ja´n, April 22, 2009   32 / 48
Case Study: GPL
   GNU Public License: quite restrictive, according to some
   Almost all GNU products (and others) have it
   Source code redistribution enforced in case of binary redistribution,
   may charge a fee
   Giving a pointer to the source code usually suffices
   Unrestricted modifications under the same license
   License terms apply to anything you develop with GPL code:
          2-b You must cause any work that you distribute or publish,
          that in whole or in part contains or is derived from the
          Program or any part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no
          charge to all third parties under the terms of this License.
   (only when modified parts bundled with original program)
   License: 2 pages; FAQ: 20 pages (interesting to read)




   M. Carro et al. (UPM)          Software Licenses           e
                                                            Ja´n, April 22, 2009   33 / 48
Case Study: LGPL


   Initially designed to handle the case or libraries (Library GNU
   Public License):
           When statically or dynamically linked, library is part of running
           process, which can be, e.g., unexec’ed and redistributed
   Therefore, no program statically linked with GNU libc could be
   redistributed
   And other programs (depending on license) shall not be run in a
   GNU environment
   LGPL: relaxed restrictions — complicated situations made explicit
   However, current trend is to use LGPL as few as possible
   Also, name change: Lesser GPL




   M. Carro et al. (UPM)           Software Licenses           e
                                                             Ja´n, April 22, 2009   34 / 48
Dual Licensing




   Issue a piece of software under two (or more) licenses
   Let users decide which one to accept
   The idea is not to accept both simultaneously – that may very well
   be impossible




   M. Carro et al. (UPM)     Software Licenses        e
                                                    Ja´n, April 22, 2009   35 / 48
Documentation Licenses


   Increasingly important: documentation, courses, etc.
   Not so many variants
   Of extended use:
           GNU Free Documentation License (FDL)
           Creative Commons (CC)
   FDL: elaborate, a bit difficult to understand, choice for some
   projects
   CC: very extended for many works of art and University
   documentation
   But beware: CC has many licenses — watch out!




   M. Carro et al. (UPM)        Software Licenses      e
                                                     Ja´n, April 22, 2009   36 / 48
CC
                               Creative Commons Deed
                     Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0
                                     You are free:

      to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work
      to make derivative works

                              Under the following conditions:

 by    Attribution. You must give the original author credit.
 nc    Noncommercial. You may not use this work for commercial purpo-
       ses.
 sa    Share Alike. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you
       may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to
       this one.
      For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license
      terms of this work.
      Any of these conditions can be waived if you get permission from the
      copyright holder.
Your fair use and other rights are in no way affected by the above.
      M. Carro et al. (UPM)                 Software Licenses        e
                                                                   Ja´n, April 22, 2009   37 / 48
Choosing a Software License
Choosing a License for a Software Project




    Choose better than create
    Proprietary licenses virtually unlimited in variety
    And easy to make: just put what you let others do
    For non-proprietary: we will see how




   M. Carro et al. (UPM)        Software Licenses           e
                                                          Ja´n, April 22, 2009   39 / 48
Reasons to Free a Work
Not necessarily source code


      More contributors
      More impact
      More credibility in some community
      Improvements are continuous
      Benefits are returned to the society at large
      Individual profits: can sell, consult, be paid to adapt, be payed to
      teach, . . .




     M. Carro et al. (UPM)       Software Licenses         e
                                                         Ja´n, April 22, 2009   40 / 48
Reasons to Free a Work
Not necessarily source code


      More contributors
      More impact
      More credibility in some community
      Improvements are continuous
      Benefits are returned to the society at large
      Individual profits: can sell, consult, be paid to adapt, be payed to
      teach, . . .

                              But: no secondary ill effects




     M. Carro et al. (UPM)             Software Licenses        e
                                                              Ja´n, April 22, 2009   40 / 48
Reasons to Free a Work
Not necessarily source code


      More contributors
      More impact
      More credibility in some community
      Improvements are continuous
      Benefits are returned to the society at large
      Individual profits: can sell, consult, be paid to adapt, be payed to
      teach, . . .

                              But: no secondary ill effects

        Why and what you free can impact on the way this is done


     M. Carro et al. (UPM)             Software Licenses        e
                                                              Ja´n, April 22, 2009   40 / 48
How To

   Decide on a license (you may use several)
      1   Look at what you need
      2   Select the type of license
      3   Discard repeated / similar / seldom used licenses
      4   Assign a license and assess it in some scenarios
      5   Restart again :-)
   Get collaborator permission
   Clean work from impurities
   Obtain permission from employer
          University: make sure your university lets you apply the license you
          want
   Sometimes Copyright transfer (to you or to a third entity)
          E.g., contributions to the FSF



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Selecting a License
Use a Well-Known One




     Points to study: behavior, compatibility, how work can be spread,
     what happens with modifications, etc.
     Likely candidates
        Software: GPL, LGPL, MIT/X, BSD-New, Apache 2.0
            Text: FDL, Creative Commons (especially for teaching
                  material and music — but no for software)
     Consider applying several licenses




     M. Carro et al. (UPM)     Software Licenses         e
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Selecting a License
Use a Well-Known One




     Points to study: behavior, compatibility, how work can be spread,
     what happens with modifications, etc.
     Likely candidates
        Software: GPL, LGPL, MIT/X, BSD-New, Apache 2.0
            Text: FDL, Creative Commons (especially for teaching
                  material and music — but no for software)
     Consider applying several licenses

                             No license is agreed as the best




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Employer and Coworkers / Contributors

   Employer may have legal rights on the work
   Read your contract! Anything not appearing / not referred to there
   can be difficult to enforce
   If needed: ask for the software to be made free / copyright
   transferred
           Pro: publicity for university / company
           Against: loss of profit (but maybe no profit was going to exist
           anyway)
           Patent before publishing?
   Collaborators: they may claim rights or disagree with license terms
           Make the point clearly and non-ambiguously
           All of them must agree on the status change
           For those who don’t: their contribution must be wiped out of the
           work
   Clean code to prevent copyright violation

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Legal Matters




   Different in every country
   Many lawyers do not catch all the technical quirks
   Sometimes Copyright transfer (e.g., to contribute to the FSF
   projects)
           FSF want to make sure that no one (i.e., copyright holder) is going
           to change the license in the future




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Share and Collaborate Efficiently



   Software forges: SourceForge, Freshmeat, BerliOS, Savannah,
   Tigris. . .
           Make it possible to distribute work
           Presentation pages
           Documents and manuals
           Project hosting + collaborative work tools (compilation farms,
           control version systems)
   Home-breed solutions
           Can be customized as needed
           Not very difficult nowadays!




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Just a Word on Patents


   Patents clearly interact with licenses
   Can restrict user’s right to render license non-free
   Ongoing debate regarding what is / is not patentable
   In the end, should be driven by the interest of the society
   Current situation:
           Makes publishing even more difficult
           Too often patents used beyond initially intended application: e.g.,
           patent exchange, buy company instead of do research and patent
           Patent process long and costly — bad for small software companies
           also, in general, absurd patents granted — and revoking very
           difficult




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Conclusions




   License makes Copyright explicit
   Different types / incarnations of software licenses
   Choosing one is a good thing for a serious project
   Carefully choose an existing one
   Follow a transparent, legally-binding procedure to apply a license
   to a piece of software




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Pointers


    Site about software licenses:
    http://www.softwarelicenses.org/
    Wikipedia has a lot of information and pointers: Software License,
    Copyright, Copyleft
    Comparison of licenses:
    http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html
    Free Software Foundation on licenses:
    http://www.fsf.org/licensing
    Open Source information, including open source licenses:
    http://www.opensource.org/licenses




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