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FOSS Licenses

FOSS Licenses

  • Hundreds of licenses are available for FOSS.

  • FSF-approved licenses:

    http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html

  • OSI-approved licenses:.

    http://www.opensource.org/licenses

  • Some Popular licenses of FOSS are listed below :

     a) GPL – GNU General Public License

    The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL or simply GPL) is the most widely used free software license, originally written by Richard Stallman for the GNU project.

The GPL is the first copyleft license for general use, which means that derived works can only be distributed under the same license terms. 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.

The text of the GPL is not itself under the GPL. The license's copyright disallows modification of the license. Copying and distributing the license is allowed since the GPL requires recipients get "a copy of this License along with the Program".According to the GPL FAQ, anyone can make a new license using a modified version of the GPL as long as he or she uses a different name for the license, doesn't mention "GNU", and removes the preamble, though the preamble can be used in a modified license if permission to use it is obtained from the Free Software Foundation (FSF).

Developers that use the GNU GPL protect your rights with two steps: (1) assert copyright on the software, and (2) offer you this License giving you legal permission to copy, distribute and/or modify it. For the developers' and authors' protection, the GPL clearly explains that there is no warranty for this free software. For both users' and authors' sake, the GPL requires that modified versions be marked as changed, so that their problems will not be attributed erroneously to authors of previous versions.

b) GLPL - GNU Lesser General Public License

The GNU Lesser General Public License (formerly the GNU Library General Public License) or LGPL is a free software license published by the Free Software Foundation (FSF). It was designed as a compromise between the strong-copyleft GNU General Public License or GPL and permissive licenses such as the BSD licenses and the MIT License. The GNU Library General Public License (as the LGPL was originally named) was published in 1991, and was the version number 2 for parity with GPL version 2. The LGPL was revised in minor ways in the 2.1 point release, published in 1999, when it was renamed the GNU Lesser General Public License to reflect the FSF's position that not all libraries should use it. Version 3 of the LGPL was published in 2007 as a list of additional permissions applied to GPL version 3.

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 OpenOffice.org and sometimes media as well.

MPL – Mozilla Public license

The Mozilla Public License (MPL) is a free and open source software license. Version 1.0 was developed by Mitchell Baker .The MPL is characterized as a hybridization of the modified BSD license and GNU General Public License.

The MPL is the license for the Mozilla Application Suite, Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Thunderbird and other Mozilla software. The MPL has been adapted by others as a license for their software, most notably Sun Microsystems, as the Common Development and Distribution License for OpenSolaris, the open source version of the Solaris 10 operating system, and by Adobe, as the license for its Flex product line.

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