Free and open-source software licenses

There’re plen­ty of free and open-source soft­ware licens­es and not all of them are as sim­ple as Do What the Fuck You Want to Pub­lic License. And even if you col­lect­ed all 4 free­doms and 650 poke­mons, it isn’t enough.

The main thing a devel­op­er has to know about free and open-source licens­es – some of them let the code be linked from code in anoth­er lan­guage, and some of them don’t.

For exam­ple, if you use some­thing licensed as GNU GPLyour project has to be under GNU GPL too. In oth­er hand, if you use BSD license, you can sell it to Apple to make OS X from it.

Please, check the license before using some­thing from GitHub or Google Code.

Google Code allows only OSI-Approved licens­es. You have to remem­ber this table to be safe using projects from it:

License Link with code using a dif­fer­ent license Release changes under anoth­er license
Apache License + +
Artis­tic License + !
Eclipse Pub­lic + -
GNU GPL 3 - -
GNU GPL 2 - -
GNU Less­er + -
Mozil­la Pub­lic + !
New BSD + +
Microsoft Pub­lic License* + -

+ – allowed
— – not allowed
! – lim­it­ed
* Microsoft Pub­lic License isn’t includ­ed in offi­cial list on Google Code, but is approved by OSI too and is very pop­u­lar on Code­plex.