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Used in Higher Academia

 

The Michigan Institute of Technology (MIT) / Berkley Software Distribution (BSD) Licenses

 

The MIT and BSD Licenses were two of the earliest open source licenses. Because these licenses are relatively straightforward and illustrate some of the basic principles of open source licensing, they are described here first. The MIT (or X), BSD, and Apache Licenses are classic open source licensing software licenses and are used in many open source projects. The most well-known of these are probably the BSDNet and FreeBSD Unix-like operating systems and the Apache HTTP Server. These licenses, as applied to the original licensed code, allow that code to be used in proprietary software and do not require that open source versions of the code be distributed. Code created under these licenses, or derived from such code, may go “closed” and developments can be made under that proprietary license, which are lost to the open source community. For the same reason, however, these licenses are very flexible and compatible with almost every form of open source license. The Academic Free License is a somewhat more elaborate license, embodying many of the same provisions found in the MIT, BSD, and Apache Licenses; in addition, it includes certain clauses addressing the application of patent rights to open source software (Oreilly Research Media Center).

 

The General Purpose Licence (GPL)

The GNU General Public License is a free, copyleft license for software and other kinds of works. The licenses for most software and other practical works are designed to take away your freedom to share and change the works. By contrast, the GNU General Public License is intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change all versions of a program--to make sure it remains free software for all its users. We, the Free Software Foundation, use the GNU General Public License for most of our software; it applies also to any other work released this way by its authors. You can apply it to your programs, too. When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price.  Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for them if you wish), that you receive source code or can get it if you want it, that you can change the software or use pieces of it in new free programs, and that you know you can do these things. To protect your rights, we need to prevent others from denying you these rights or asking you to surrender the rights. Therefore, you have certain responsibilities if you distribute copies of the software, or if you modify it: responsibilities to respect the freedom of others. For example, if you distribute copies of such a program, whether gratis or for a fee, you must pass on to the recipients the same freedoms that you received. You must make sure that they, too, receive or can get the source code. And you must show them these terms so they know their rights (Free Software Foundation, Inc.).

The Lesser Genereal Purpose Licence (LGPL)

This license, the Lesser General Public License, applies to some specially designated software packages--typically libraries--of the Free Software Foundation and other authors who decide to use it. You can use it too, but we suggest you first think carefully about whether this license or the ordinary General Public License is the better strategy to use in any particular case, based on the explanations below. When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom of use, not price. Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for this service if you wish); that you receive source code or can get it if you want it; that you can change the software and use pieces of it in new free programs; and that you are informed that you can do these things. To protect your rights, we need to make restrictions that forbid distributors to deny you these rights or to ask you to surrender these rights. These restrictions translate to certain responsibilities for you if you distribute copies of the library or if you modify it. For example, if you distribute copies of the library, whether gratis or for a fee, you must give the recipients all the rights that we gave you. You must make sure that they, too, receive or can get the source code. If you link other code with the library, you must provide complete object files to the recipients, so that they can re-link them with the library after making changes to the library and recompiling it. And you must show them these terms so they know their rights (Free Software Foundation, Inc.).