Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Understanding licenses, bit by bit

Filed under
OSS

An idea that is suggested every now and then is to look at software licensing and give it a kind of “Creative Commons” feel; that is, present the terms of the license in a pleasant and orderly way by means of icons. Now, we’ve already come to the realization that calling something “Creative Commons licensed” is vague to the point of being useless (just “some rights reserved“). Calling something “Free Software” is also vague, but there is a rock-solid guarantee at the bottom: the term guarantees you, the recipient of the software, at least the Four Freedoms. Any Open Source software you receive usually means at least the Four Freedoms as well. So you need to say which CC, which Free Software license, which Open Source license.

CC has six licenses; they are split neatly and orthogonally along the commercial / non-commercial and yes / share-alike / no axes.

The thing is, CC is a much simpler system because it applies to work where there are no patent concerns, where embedded systems don’t have a place, where share-alike has a simpler meaning. I have trouble bringing this same simplicity to software licensing, but I thought I would give it a try.

Rest Here




More in Tux Machines

Why we use open source - Australia’s Immigration agency explains

Why choose open source? “In some ways, [the open source software used by the agency] is effectively more capable” than commercial products, he said. “In terms of cost-effectiveness, [it] wins hands down: no license/maintenance fees, extensible architecture [and] global open source R&D.” The team uses an open source software package called ‘R’. Read more

Emacs & the obsessive email mongerer

I had already mentioned in passing here that I am using Emacs for a variety of tasks: outline, project management and planning with Org-Mode, IRC (go figure, my default email client on all my machines is Emacs’ ERC), notes editing or quick scribbling with the Scartch buffer (happens to me all day long), and regularly, albeit less frequently than in 2013, various editing of html pages, javascript and sometimes even Python when I dare to edit one or two things in Python scripts. A consequence of all these use cases is that I have Emacs open almost everyday on almost any of my machines. Read more

MIPS tempts hackers with Raspbery Pi-like dev board

Hard to choose between Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone Black, and MinnowBoard Max? Now there’s another choice: the open source MIPS-based “Creator CI20″ dev board. In a bid to harness some of the energy and enthusiasm swirling around today’s open, hackable single board computers Imagination Technologies, licensor of the MIPS ISA, has unveiled the ISA’s counter to ARM’s popular Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black SBCs. These days, every processor vendor simply must have a community supported dev board in order to engage with the developer communities. (Incidentally, Intel’s is the MinnowBoard Max and AMD’s is the Gizmo.) Read more

Samsung announces the Gear S while LG officially unveils the G Watch R

Samsung announced yet another smartwatch, Samsung Gear S that runs Tizen and comes with a 3G wireless radio. I have seen some call this the Gear Note because it does have a long two inch curved Super AMOLED display. The Gear S has WiFi, Bluetooth, and 3G radios and antennas inside so you can use the watch when your phone isn't handy. Turn-by-turn pedestrian navigation is powered by HERE. It has an integrated GPS chip and can be used for exercise, again without a phone connection. Read more