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a mess. to resort

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  • - are public goods in the form of software, data sets, AI models, standards or content that are generally free cultural works and contribute to sustainable national and international digital development. Use of the term "digital public good" appears as early as April 2017, when Nicholas Gruen wrote Building the Public Goods of the Twenty-First Century, and has gained popularity with the growing recognition of the potential for new technologies to be implemented at a national scale to better service delivery to citizens. Digital technologies have also been identified by countries, NGOs and private sector entities as a means to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This translation of public goods onto digital platforms has resulted in the use of the term "digital public goods". Several international agencies, including UNICEF and UNDP, are exploring DPGs as a possible solution to address the issue of digital inclusion, particularly for children in emerging economies. Digital public goods share some traits with public goods including non-rivalry and non-excludability.

A digital public good is defined by the UN Secretary-General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, as: "open source software, open data, open AI models, open standards and open content that adhere to privacy and other applicable laws and best practices, do no harm, and help attain the SDGs." Most physical resources exist in limited supply. When a resource is removed and used, the supply becomes scarce or depleted. Scarcity can result in competing rivalry for the resource. The nondepletable, nonexclusive, and nonrivalrous nature of digital public goods means the rules and norms for managing them can be different from how physical public goods are managed. Digital public goods can be infinitely stored, copied, and distributed without becoming depleted, and at close to zero cost. Abundance rather than scarcity is an inherent characteristic of digital resources in the digital commons.

  • - an expression that means either that all people should be able to access information freely, or that information (formulated as an actor) naturally strives to become as freely available among people as possible. It is often used by technology activists to criticize laws that limit transparency and general access to information. People who criticize intellectual property law say the system of such government-granted monopolies conflicts with the development of a public domain of information. The expression is often credited to Stewart Brand, who was recorded saying it at a Hackers Conference in 1984, and who, in the late 1960s, founded the Whole Earth Catalog and argued that technology could be liberating rather than oppressing.

  •'t_Want_to_Be_Free - a 2014 non-fiction book by the science fiction writer and Internet activist Cory Doctorow. In the book, he advocates loosening restrictions on intellectual property on the Internet. He states that "[i]nformation doesn’t want to be free,...people do.” Doctorow disagrees with claims by creators and creative industry representatives that downloading and streaming of content online (e.g., songs) is hurting creators and creative industries. Doctorow argues that a "free and open digital culture" provides a net benefit to society. Movie and music industries have tried to stop online pirated sharing of their content. Similarly, book authors have tried to prevent their texts from being made available on the Internet.

  • - a category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect. There are many types of intellectual property, and some countries recognize more than others. The best-known types are patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. The modern concept of intellectual property developed in England in the 17th and 18th centuries. The term "intellectual property" began to be used in the 19th century, though it was not until the late 20th century that intellectual property became commonplace in most of the world's legal systems.

  • - a term often employed by Lawrence Lessig and other copyright activists such as Luis Villa and Nina Paley to describe a society in which copyright restrictions are pervasive and enforced to the extent that any and all uses of copyrighted works need to be explicitly leased. This has both economic and social implications: in such a society, copyright holders could require payment for each use of a work and, perhaps more importantly, permission to make any sort of derivative work.

  • - patent is the maximum time during which it can be maintained in force. It is usually expressed in a number of years either starting from the filing date of the patent application or from the date of grant of the patent. In most patent laws, annuities or maintenance fees have to be regularly paid in order to keep the patent in force. Thus, a patent may lapse before its term if a renewal fee is not paid in due time.
  • - the practice of licensing patents (especially biological patents) for royalty-free use, on the condition that adopters license related improvements they develop under the same terms. Copyleft-style licensors seek "continuous growth of a universally accessible technology commons" from which they, and others, will benefit.

Patentleft is analogous to copyleft, a license that allows distribution of a copyrighted work and derived works, but only under the same or equivalent terms.

  • - a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the exclusive right to copy, distribute, adapt, display, and perform a creative work, usually for a limited time. The creative work may be in a literary, artistic, educational, or musical form. Copyright is intended to protect the original expression of an idea in the form of a creative work, but not the idea itself. A copyright is subject to limitations based on public interest considerations, such as the fair use doctrine in the United States. Some jurisdictions require "fixing" copyrighted works in a tangible form. It is often shared among multiple authors, each of whom holds a set of rights to use or license the work, and who are commonly referred to as rights holders. These rights frequently include reproduction, control over derivative works, distribution, public performance, and moral rights such as attribution.

Copyrights can be granted by public law and are in that case considered "territorial rights". This means that copyrights granted by the law of a certain state do not extend beyond the territory of that specific jurisdiction. Copyrights of this type vary by country; many countries, and sometimes a large group of countries, have made agreements with other countries on procedures applicable when works "cross" national borders or national rights are inconsistent. Typically, the public law duration of a copyright expires 50 to 100 years after the creator dies, depending on the jurisdiction. Some countries require certain copyright formalities to establishing copyright, others recognize copyright in any completed work, without a formal registration. When the copyright of a work expires, it enters the public domain.

  • Exceptions to copyright - GOV.UK - Details of the exceptions to copyright that allow limited use of copyright works without the permission of the copyright owner.

  • - or anti-copyright sentiment, is a dissenting view of the current state of copyright law or copyright as a concept. Critics often discuss philosophical, economical, or social rationales of such laws and the laws' implementations, the benefits of which they claim do not justify the policy's costs to society. They advocate for changing the current system, though different groups have different ideas of what that change should be. Some call for remission of the policies to a previous state—copyright once covered few categories of things and had shorter term limits—or they may seek to expand concepts like fair use that allow permissionless copying. Others seek the abolition of copyright itself. Opposition to copyright is often a portion of platforms advocating for broader social reform. For example, Lawrence Lessig, a free-culture movement speaker, advocates for loosening copyright law as a means of making sharing information easier or addressing the orphan works issue and the Swedish Pirate Party has advocated for limiting copyright to five year terms.

  • - a false copyright claim by an individual or institution with respect to content that is in the public domain. Such claims are unlawful, at least under US and Australian copyright law, because material that is not copyrighted is free for all to use, modify and reproduce. Copyfraud also includes overreaching claims by publishers, museums and others, as where a legitimate copyright owner knowingly, or with constructive knowledge, claims rights beyond what the law allows.

  • - an unwritten license which permits a party (the licensee) to do something that would normally require the express permission of another party (the licensor). Implied licenses may arise by operation of law from actions by the licensor which lead the licensee to believe that it has the necessary permission. Implied licenses often arise where the licensee has purchased a physical embodiment of some intellectual property belonging to the licensor, or has paid for its creation, but has not obtained permission to use the intellectual property.
  • - is computer software that is not explicitly in the public domain, but the authors appear to intend free use, modification, distribution and distribution of the modified software, similar to the freedoms defined for free software. Since the author of the software has not made the terms of the license explicit, the software is technically copyrighted according to the Berne convention and as such is proprietary.

  • - a movement to abolish copyright, for example by repealing the Statute of Anne and all subsequent law made in its support. The notion of anti-copyright combines a group of ideas and ideologies that advocate changing the current copyright law. It often focuses on the negative philosophical, economic, or social consequences of copyright, and that it has never been a benefit to society, but instead serves to enrich a few at the expense of creativity. Some groups may question the logic of copyright on economic and cultural grounds. The members of this movement are in favor of a full or partial change or repeal of the current copyright law. Copyright and patents are widely rejected among anarchists, communists, socialists, free market libertarians, crypto-anarchists, info-anarchists, and the former Situationist International. Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine, economists at Washington University in St. Louis, have suggested that copyrights and patents are a net loss for the economy because of the way they reduce competition in the free market. They refer to copyrights and patents as intellectual monopolies, akin to industrial monopolies, and they advocate phasing out and eventually abolishing them.

Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine, economists at Washington University in St. Louis, have suggested that copyrights and patents are a net loss for the economy because of the way they reduce competition in the free market. They refer to copyrights and patents as intellectual monopolies, akin to industrial monopolies, and they advocate phasing out and eventually abolishing them. The classic argument in defense of copyright is the view that giving the developers a temporary monopoly over their works encourages further development and creativity, giving the developer a source of income, and thus encourages them to continue their creative work; usually copyright is secured under the Berne Convention, established by Victor Hugo and first adopted in 1886. Every country in the world has copyright laws and private information ownership has not been repealed anywhere officially. Numerous international agreements on copyright have been concluded since then, but copyright law still varies from country to country.

  • - a specific statement that is added to a work in order to encourage wide distribution. Such notices are legally required to host such specific media; under the Berne Convention in international copyright law, works are protected even if no copyright statement is attached to them. However, "anti-copyright" statements typically do not take the form of either sophisticated public copyright licenses or a simple dedication to the public domain; instead, they usually just encourage wide distribution. Depending on jurisdiction, it is possible to denounce all claims to copyright in a work including moral rights in a written disclaimer. An example of an anti-copyright notice is the following: "Anti-Copyright! Reprint freely, in any manner desired, even without naming the source." Where such notices are attached depends highly on the type of work. They are often found in anarcho-socialist magazines and books. A copyright waiver might[clarification needed] state the following: The author of this work hereby waives all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, distorted or destroyed in any manner whatsoever without further attribution or notice to the creator.

  • - or public copyright licenses is a license by which a copyright holder as licensor can grant additional copyright permissions to any and all persons in the general public as licensees. By applying a public license to a work, provided that the licensees obey the terms and conditions of the license, copyright holders give permission for others to copy or change their work in ways that would otherwise infringe copyright law.

  • - consists of all the creative work to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have expired, been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable. Because no one holds the exclusive rights, anyone can legally use or reference those works without permission.
  • - software that has been placed in the public domain, in other words, software for which there is absolutely no ownership such as copyright, trademark, or patent. Software in the public domain can be modified, distributed, or sold even without any attribution by anyone; this is unlike the common case of software under exclusive copyright, where licenses grant limited usage rights.
  • - are licenses that grant public-domain-like rights and/or act as waivers. They are used to make copyrighted works usable by anyone without conditions, while avoiding the complexities of attribution or license compatibility that occur with other licenses.
  • - a symbol used to indicate that a work is free of known copyright restrictions and therefore in the public domain. It is analogous to the copyright symbol, which is commonly used to indicate that a work is copyrighted, often as part of a copyright notice. The Public Domain Mark was developed by Creative Commons and is only an indicator of the public domain status of a work – it itself does not release a copyrighted work into the public domain like CC0.

  • - or open license is a license which allows others to reuse another creator’s work as they wish. Without a special license, these uses are normally prohibited by copyright, patent or commercial license. Most free licenses are worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, and perpetual (see copyright durations). Free licenses are often the basis of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding projects.

The invention of the term "free license" and the focus on the rights of users were connected to the sharing traditions of the hacker culture of the 1970s public domain software ecosystem, the social and political free software movement (since 1980) and the open source movement (since the 1990s). These rights were codified by different groups and organizations for different domains in Free Software Definition, Open Source Definition, Debian Free Software Guidelines, Definition of Free Cultural Works and The Open Definition. These definitions were then transformed into licenses, using the copyright as legal mechanism. Ideas of free/open licenses have since spread into different spheres of society. Open source, free culture (unified as free and open-source movement), anticopyright, Wikimedia Foundation projects, public domain advocacy groups and pirate parties are connected with free and open licenses.

  • Open Free Culture | CCCB LAB - We believe in an open and shared culture. For this reason we reflect on intellectual property, copyright, open access to knowledge, collaborative platforms, processes of participation and co-creation.

  • - a term used to promote an information age mindset toward innovation that runs counter to the secrecy and silo mentality of traditional corporate research labs. The benefits and driving forces behind increased openness have been noted and discussed as far back as the 1960s, especially as it pertains to interfirm cooperation in R&D. Use of the term 'open innovation' in reference to the increasing embrace of external cooperation in a complex world has been promoted in particular by Henry Chesbrough, adjunct professor and faculty director of the Center for Open Innovation of the Haas School of Business at the University of California, and Maire Tecnimont Chair of Open Innovation at Luiss.
  • - a concept in innovation studies to help understand the role of firms, agencies and individuals that facilitate innovation by providing the bridging, brokering, knowledge transfer necessary to bring together the range of different organisations and knowledge needed to create successful innovation. The term open innovation intermediaries was used for this concept by Henry Chesbrough in his 2006 book as "companies that help other companies implement various facets of open innovation".

  • - a social movement with the goal of obtaining and guaranteeing certain freedoms for software users, namely the freedoms to run, study, modify, and share copies of software. Software which meets these requirements, The Four Essential Freedoms of Free Software, is termed free software.

Although drawing on traditions and philosophies among members of the 1970s hacker culture and academia, Richard Stallman formally founded the movement in 1983 by launching the GNU Project. Stallman later established the Free Software Foundation in 1985 to support the movement.

  • - a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded by Richard Stallman on October 4, 1985, to support the free software movement, with the organization's preference for software being distributed under copyleft ("share alike") terms, such as with its own GNU General Public License. The FSF was incorporated in Boston, Massachusetts, US, where it is also based. From its founding until the mid-1990s, FSF's funds were mostly used to employ software developers to write free software for the GNU Project. Since the mid-1990s, the FSF's employees and volunteers have mostly worked on legal and structural issues for the free software movement and the free software community.

Consistent with its goals, the FSF aims to use only free software on its own computers.

  • - written by Richard Stallman and published by the Free Software Foundation (FSF), defines free software as being software that ensures that the end users have freedom in using, studying, sharing and modifying that software. The term "free" is used in the sense of "free speech," not of "free of charge." The earliest-known publication of the definition was in the February 1986 edition of the now-discontinued GNU's Bulletin publication by the FSF. The canonical source for the document is in the philosophy section of the GNU Project website. As of April 2008, it is published in 39 languages. The FSF publishes a list of licences which meet this definition.

  • - This comparison only covers software licenses which have a linked Wikipedia article for details and which are approved by at least one of the following expert groups: the Free Software Foundation, the Open Source Initiative, the Debian Project and the Fedora Project. For a list of licenses not specifically intended for software, see List of free-content licences.

  • - the steward of the Open Source Definition, the set of rules that define open source software. It is a California public-benefit nonprofit corporation, with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. The organization was founded in late February 1998 by Bruce Perens and Eric S. Raymond, part of a group inspired by the Netscape Communications Corporation publishing the source code for its flagship Netscape Communicator product. Later, in August 1998, the organization added a board of directors.

  • - was published by the Open Content Project in 1999 as a public copyright license for documents. It superseded the Open Content License, which was published by the Open Content Project in 1998. Starting around 2002-2003, it began to be superseded, in turn, by the Creative Commons licenses.
  • - was a project dedicated to free culture and Creative Commons. One goal was to evangelize the concept of open content. The project's Open Publication License, primarily designed and offered for academics, could easily be adapted to the needs of the artist or other content provider. The Open Content Project has closed in 2003 and has been succeeded by Creative Commons.

  • - a document published by the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF) (previously Open Knowledge International) to define openness in relation to data and content. It specifies what licences for such material may and may not stipulate, in order to be considered open licences. The definition itself was derived from the Open Source Definition for software. OKI summarise the document as: Open means anyone can freely access, use, modify, and share for any purpose (subject, at most, to requirements that preserve provenance and openness).

The latest form of the document, published in November 2015, is version 2.1. The use of language in the document is conformant with RFC 2119.

  • - Open-source software is widely used both as independent applications and as components in non-open-source applications. Customers may be willing to use open technology under standard commercial terms and thereby pay for open-source software when additional value is created. This can be the case for legal protection (e.g., indemnification from copyright or patent infringement), "commercial-grade QA", and professional support/training/consulting that are typical of commercial software, while also receiving the benefits of fine-grained control and lack of lock-in that comes with open-source. Open-source software is used as components inside of proprietary, for-profit products and services by many independent software vendors (ISVs), value-added resellers (VARs), and hardware vendors (OEMs or ODMs) in frameworks, modules, and libraries.

"i don't find these graphical interfaces very clear"

  • - a software management tool used by independent software vendors or by end-user organizations to control where and how software products are able to run. License managers protect software vendors from losses due to software piracy and enable end-user organizations to comply with software license agreements. License managers enable software vendors to offer a wide range of usage-centric software licensing models, such as product activation, trial licenses, subscription licenses, feature-based licenses, and floating licensing from the same software package they provide to all users. A license manager is different from a software asset management tool, which end-user organizations employ to manage the software they have licensed from many software vendors. However, some software asset management tools include license manager functions. These are used to reconcile software licenses and installed software, and generally include device discovery, software inventory, license compliance, and reporting functions.

  • - Fast, portable and reliable dependency analysis for any codebase. Supports license & vulnerability scanning for large monoliths. Language-agnostic; integrates with 20+ build systems.

Free / open culture

  • - libre content, libre information, or free information, is any kind of functional work, work of art, or other creative content that meets the definition of a free cultural work.

  • - a social movement that promotes the freedom to distribute and modify the creative works of others in the form of free content or open content without compensation to, or the consent of, the work's original creators, by using the Internet and other forms of media. The movement objects to what it considers over-restrictive copyright laws. Many members of the movement argue that such laws hinder creativity. They call this system "permission culture". The free-culture movement, with its ethos of free exchange of ideas, is aligned with the free and open-source-software movement, as well as other movements and philosophies such as open access (OA), the remix culture, the hacker culture, the access to knowledge movement, the copyleft movement and the public domain movement.

  • - a license through which the author grants users the freedom to read, listen to, watch, or otherwise experience the resource; to learn from or with it; to copy, adapt and use it for any purpose; and to share derived works for the benefit of the community. For a work to be considered "libre", it must either be in the public domain/CC0 or all of the essential freedoms must be granted by the licence. The essential freedoms are described in the libre knowledge definition and the free / Libre Cultural Works definition. The following are examples of libre licenses: CC0 1.0 Universal (Public Domain Dedication) Creative Commons ShareAlike, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike, Creative Commons Attribution, GNU Free Documentation License. Mixing resources across licenses can be tricky.

  • - an economic platform based on open collaboration for the production of software, services, or other products. First applied to the open-source software industry, this economic model may be applied to a wide range of enterprises. Some characteristics of open-source economics may include: work or investment carried out without express expectation of return; products or services produced through collaboration between users and developers; and no direct individual ownership of the enterprise itself.

  • - are record labels that release music under copyleft licenses, that is, licenses that allow free redistribution and may allow free modification of the tracks. They present free, libre, and open content, and present this a part of the freedoms of expression and speech, with the goal of opening up the possibilities of media through open collaboration. Some musicians dislike corporate control of music via means of copyright and believe that creativity requires that musicians reappropriate and reinterpret music and sounds to enable them to create truly innovative music. Additionally, copyleft enables musicians to develop music collaboratively.

  • - also known as open-content films and free-content films) are films which are produced and distributed by using free and open-source and open content methodologies. Their sources are freely available and the licenses used meet the demands of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) in terms of freedom.

  • - an opposing concept to consumer culture — in other words a culture in which private individuals (the public) do not act as consumers only, but also as contributors or producers (prosumers). The term is most often applied to the production or creation of some type of published media. Recent advances in technologies (mostly personal computers and the Internet) have enabled private persons to create and publish such media, usually through the Internet. Since the technology now enables new forms of expression and engagement in public discourse, participatory culture not only supports individual creation but also informal relationships that pair novices with experts. This new culture as it relates to the Internet has been described as Web 2.0. In participatory culture "young people creatively respond to a plethora of electronic signals and cultural commodities in ways that surprise their makers, finding meanings and identities never meant to be there and defying simple nostrums that bewail the manipulation or passivity of "consumers."

  • Copyleft Currents - a useful resource for those interested in open source software licensing.

  • - a decentralized software development model that encourages open collaboration. A main principle of open-source software development is peer production, with products such as source code, blueprints, and documentation freely available to the public. The open-source movement in software began as a response to the limitations of proprietary code. The model is used for projects such as in open-source appropriate technology, and open-source drug discovery. Open source promotes universal access via an open-source or free license to a product's design or blueprint, and universal redistribution of that design or blueprint. Before the phrase open source became widely adopted, developers and producers used a variety of other terms. Open source gained hold with the rise of the Internet. The open-source software movement arose to clarify copyright, licensing, domain, and consumer issues.Generally, open source refers to a computer program in which the source code is available to the general public for use or modification from its original design. Open-source code is meant to be a collaborative effort, where programmers improve upon the source code and share the changes within the community. Code is released under the terms of a software license. Depending on the license terms, others may then download, modify, and publish their version (fork) back to the community.

  • The Telekommunist Manifesto | Telekommunisten - In the age of international telecommunications, global migration and the emergence of the information economy, how can class conflict and property be understood? Drawing from political economy and concepts related to intellectual property, The Telekommunist Manifesto is a key contribution to commons-based, collaborative and shared forms of cultural production and economic distribution. download a copy here Venture communism Proposing “venture communism” as a new model for workers’ self-organization, Kleiner spins Marx and Engels’ seminal Manifesto of the Communist Party into the age of the internet. As a peer-to-peer model, venture communism allocates capital that is critically needed to accomplish what capitalism cannot: the ongoing proliferation of free culture and free networks. Copyfarleft In developing the concept of venture communism, Kleiner provides a critique of copyright regimes, and current liberal views of free software and free culture which seek to trap culture within capitalism. Kleiner proposes copyfarleft, and provides a usable model of a Peer Production License. Encouraging hackers and artists to embrace the revolutionary potential of the internet for a truly free society, The Telekommunist Manifesto is a political-conceptual call to arms in the fight against capitalism.

  • - a metaphoric label for a concept that is widely discussed in economics, ecology and other sciences. According to the concept, should a number of people enjoy unfettered access to a finite, valuable resource such as a pasture, they will tend to over-use it, and may end up destroying its value altogether. To exercise voluntary restraint is not a rational choice for individuals – if they did, the other users would merely supplant them – yet the predictable result is a tragedy for all.

The metaphor is the title of a 1968 essay by ecologist Garrett Hardin. As another example he cited a watercourse which all are free to pollute. But the principal concern of his essay was overpopulation of the planet. To prevent the inevitable tragedy (he argued, it was necessary to reject the principle (supposedly enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) according to which every family has a right to choose the number of its offspring, and to replace it by "mutual coercion, mutually agreed upon".

The concept itself did not originate with Hardin, but extends back to classical antiquity, being discussed by Aristotle. Some scholars have argued that over-exploitation of the common resource is by no means inevitable, since the individuals concerned may be able to achieve mutual restraint by consensus. Others have contended that the metaphor is inapposite because its exemplar - unfettered access to common land - did not exist historically, the right to exploit common land being controlled by law.

  • - a type of market failure that occurs when those who benefit from resources, public goods and common pool resources do not pay for them or under-pay. Examples of such goods are public roads or public libraries or services or other goods of a communal nature. Free riders are a problem for common pool resources because they may overuse it by not paying for the good (either directly through fees or tolls or indirectly through taxes). Consequently, the common pool resource may be under-produced, overused, or degraded. Additionally, it has been shown that despite evidence that people tend to be cooperative by nature (a prosocial behaviour), the presence of free-riders causes cooperation to deteriorate, perpetuating the free-rider problem.


See Learning#Open Access, Organising, Open data, Data

  • - or free knowledge, is knowledge that is free to use, reuse, and redistribute without legal, social, or technological restriction. Open knowledge organizations and activists have proposed principles and methodologies related to the production and distribution of knowledge in an open manner.

  • - often referred to as a public API, is a publicly available application programming interface that provides developers with programmatic access to a (possibly proprietary) software application or web service. Open APIs are APIs that are published on the internet and are free to access by consumers.

  • - systems where the implementation is accessible. Open implementation allows developers of a program to alter pieces of the underlying software to fit their specific needs. With this technique it is far easier to write general tools, though it makes the programs themselves more complex to design and use. There are also open language implementations, which make aspects of the language implementation accessible to application programmers. Open implementation is not to be confused with open source, which allows users to change implementation source code, rather than using existing application programming interfaces.

  • - are teaching, learning, and research materials intentionally created and licensed to be free for the end user to own, share, and in most cases, modify. The term "OER" describes publicly accessible materials and resources for any user to use, re-mix, improve, and redistribute under some licenses. These are designed to reduce accessibility barriers by implementing best practices in teaching and to be adapted for local unique contexts.

The development and promotion of open educational resources is often motivated by a desire to provide an alternative or enhanced educational paradigm.

  • - are part of the broader open education landscape, including the openness movement in general. It is a term with multiple layers and dimensions and is often used interchangeably with open pedagogy or open practices. OEP represent teaching and learning techniques that draw upon open and participatory technologies and high-quality open educational resources (OER) in order to facilitate collaborative and flexible learning. Because OEP emerged from the study of OER, there is a strong connection between the two concepts. OEP, for example, often, but not always, involve the application of OER to the teaching and learning process. Open educational practices aim to take the focus beyond building further access to OER and consider how in practice, such resources support education and promote quality and innovation in teaching and learning. The focus in OEP is on reproduction/understanding, connecting information, application, competence, and responsibility rather than the availability of good resources. OEP is a broad concept which can be characterised by a range of collaborative pedagogical practices that include the use, reuse, and creation of OER and that often employ social and participatory technologies for interaction, peer-learning, knowledge creation and sharing, empowerment of learners, and open sharing of teaching practices.

OEP may involve students participating in online, peer production communities within activities intended to support learning or more broadly, any context where access to educational opportunity through freely available online content and services is the norm. Such activities may include (but are not limited to), the creation, use and repurposing of open educational resources and their adaptation to the contextual setting. OEP can also include the open sharing of teaching practices and aim "to raise the quality of education and training and innovate educational practices on an institutional, professional and individual level." The OEP community includes educational professionals (i.e. teachers, educational developers, researchers), policy makers, managers/administrators of organisations, and learners. OER are often created as part of an OEP strategy, and viewed as a contribution to the transformation of 21st century learning and learners. Scope of open educational practices

Open educational practices fall under the broader movement of openness in education, which is an evolving concept shaped by the shifting needs and available resources of societies, cultures, geographies, and economies. Developing a precise definition, thus, is a challenge. OEP are sometimes used interchangeably with the term open educational pedagogies. While OEP are inclusive of open pedagogies represented by teaching techniques, OEP can also incorporate open scholarship, open course design, open educational advocacy, social justice, open data, ethics, and copyright." Creating a database or repository of open educational resources is not open educational practice (Ehlers 2011) but can be part of an open teaching strategy.

  1. Participatory Technologies
  2. People, Openness, Trust
  3. Innovation and Creativity
  4. Sharing Ideas and Resources
  5. Connected Community
  6. Learner-Generated
  7. Reflective Practice
  8. Peer Review

  • - an online instructional resource that can be freely used, distributed and modified. OSC is based on the open-source practice of creating products or software that opens up access to source materials or codes. Applied to education, this process invites feedback and participation from developers, educators, government officials, students and parents and empowers them to exchange ideas, improve best practices and create world-class curricula. These "development" communities can form ad-hoc, within the same subject area or around a common student need, and allow for a variety of editing and workflow structures. OSC repositories such as Wikiversity, Curriki – Global Learning & Education Community, MIT OpenCourseWare and Connexions are one way in which the concept of open-source curriculum is being explored.

  • - a textbook licensed under an open license, and made available online to be freely used by students, teachers and members of the public. Many open textbooks are distributed in either print, e-book, or audio formats that may be downloaded or purchased at little or no cost.

Part of the broader open educational resources movement, open textbooks increasingly are seen as a solution to challenges with traditionally published textbooks, such as access and affordability concerns. Open textbooks were identified in the New Media Consortium's 2010 Horizon Report as a component of the rapidly progressing adoption of open content in higher education.

  • - the movement to make scientific research (including publications, data, physical samples, and software) and its dissemination accessible to all levels of society, amateur or professional. Open science is transparent and accessible knowledge that is shared and developed through collaborative networks. It encompasses practices such as publishing open research, campaigning for open access, encouraging scientists to practice open-notebook science (such as openly sharing data and code), broader dissemination and engagement in science and generally making it easier to publish, access and communicate scientific knowledge. Usage of the term varies substantially across disciplines, with a notable prevalence in the STEM disciplines. Open research is often used quasi-synonymously to address the gap that the denotion of "science" might have regarding an inclusion of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. The primary focus connecting all disciplines is the widespread uptake of new technologies and tools, and the underlying ecology of the production, dissemination and reception of knowledge from a research-based point-of-view. As Tennant et al. (2020) note, the term open science "implicitly seems only to regard ‘scientific’ disciplines, whereas open scholarship can be considered to include research from the Arts and Humanities, as well as the different roles and practices that researchers perform as educators and communicators, and an underlying open philosophy of sharing knowledge beyond research communities."

  • - or open repository is a digital platform that holds research output and provides free, immediate and permanent access to research results for anyone to use, download and distribute. To facilitate open access such repositories must be interoperable according to the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). Search engines harvest the content of open access repositories, constructing a database of worldwide, free of charge available research. Open-access repositories, such as an institutional repository or disciplinary repository, provide free access to research for users outside the institutional community and are one of the recommended ways to achieve the open access vision described in the Budapest Open Access Initiative definition of open access. This is sometimes referred to as the self-archiving or "green" route to open access.

  • - or open research data is a type of open data focused on publishing observations and results of scientific activities available for anyone to analyze and reuse. A major purpose of the drive for open data is to allow the verification of scientific claims, by allowing others to look at the reproducibility of results, and to allow data from many sources to be integrated to give new knowledge. The modern concept of scientific data emerged in the second half of the 20th century, with the development of large knowledge infrastructure to compute scientific information and observation.

  • - was established in 1966 as the Committee on Data for Science and Technology, originally part of the International Council of Scientific Unions, now part of the International Science Council (ISC). CODATA exists to promote global collaboration to advance open science and to improve the availability and usability of data for all areas of research. CODATA supports the principle that data produced by research and susceptible to being used for research should be as open as possible and as closed as necessary. CODATA works also to advance the interoperability and the usability of such data; research data should be FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable). By promoting the policy, technological, and cultural changes that are essential to promote open science, CODATA helps advance ISC's vision and mission of advancing science as a global public good. The CODATA Strategic Plan 2015 and Prospectus of Strategy and Achievement 2016 identify three priority areas: promoting principles, policies and practices for open data and open science; advancing the frontiers of data science; building capacity for open science by improving data skills and the functions of national science systems needed to support open data.
  • - are data which meet principles of findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability (FAIR). The acronym and principles were defined in a March 2016 paper in the journal Scientific Data by a consortium of scientists and organizations. The FAIR principles emphasize machine-actionability (i.e., the capacity of computational systems to find, access, interoperate, and reuse data with none or minimal human intervention) because humans increasingly rely on computational support to deal with data as a result of the increase in volume, complexity, and creation speed of data. The abbreviation FAIR/O data is sometimes used to indicate that the dataset or database in question complies with the FAIR principles and also carries an explicit data‑capable open license.

  • - was an informal organization, in the circle around the colleagues Herbert Van de Sompel, Carl Lagoze, Michael L. Nelson and Simeon Warner, to develop and apply technical interoperability standards for archives to share catalogue information (metadata). The group got together in the late late 1990s and was active for around twenty years. OAI coordinated in particular three specification activities: OAI-PMH, OAI-ORE and ResourceSync. All along the group worked towards building a "low-barrier interoperability framework" for archives (institutional repositories) containing digital content (digital libraries) to allow people (service providers) harvest metadata (from data providers). Such sets of metadata are since then harvested to provide "value-added services", often by combining different data sets.

OAI has been involved in developing a technological framework and interoperability standards for enhancing access to eprint archives, which make scholarly communications like academic journals available, associated with the open access publishing movement. The relevant technology and standards are applicable beyond scholarly publishing. The OAI technical infrastructure, specified in the Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) version 2.0, defines a mechanism for data providers to expose their metadata. This protocol mandates that individual archives map their metadata to the Dublin Core, a common metadata set for this purpose. OAI standards allow a common way to provide content, and part of those standards is that the content has metadata that describes the items in Dublin Core format. Object Reuse and Exchange (OAI-ORE) defines standards for the description and exchange of aggregations of web resources.

  • - a research community organization started in 2013 by the European Commission, the American National Science Foundation and National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Australian Department of Innovation. Its mission is to build the social and technical bridges to enable open sharing of data. The RDA vision is researchers and innovators openly sharing data across technologies, disciplines, and countries to address the grand challenges of society. The RDA is a major recipient of support in the form of grants from its constituent members' governments.

  • - the practice of making the entire primary record of a research project publicly available online as it is recorded. This involves placing the personal, or laboratory, notebook of the researcher online along with all raw and processed data, and any associated material, as this material is generated. The approach may be summed up by the slogan 'no insider information'. It is the logical extreme of transparent approaches to research and explicitly includes the making available of failed, less significant, and otherwise unpublished experiments; so called 'dark data'. The practice of open notebook science, although not the norm in the academic community, has gained significant recent attention in the research and general media as part of a general trend towards more open approaches in research practice and publishing. Open notebook science can therefore be described as part of a wider open science movement that includes the advocacy and adoption of open access publication, open data, crowdsourcing data, and citizen science. It is inspired in part by the success of open-source software and draws on many of its ideas.
  • ONSchallenge - home - archived
  • - a crowdsourcing research project which collects measurements of the non-aqueous solubility of organic compounds and publishes these as open data; findings are reported in an open notebook science manner. Although anyone may contribute research data, the competition is only open to post-secondary students in the US and UK.

  • OpenIntro - developer and promoter of educational products that are free, transparent, and lower barriers to education. Our mission is to make educational products that are free, transparent, and lower barriers to education. We also feature supporting resources, such as slides, videos, and more.

  • Open Knowledge Foundation - a global, non-profit network that promotes and shares information at no charge, including both content and data. It was founded by Rufus Pollock on 20 May 2004 in Cambridge, UK. It is incorporated in England and Wales as a private company limited by guarantee. Between May 2016 and May 2019 the organisation was named Open Knowledge International, but decided in May 2019 to return to Open Knowledge Foundation.

Open Data Commons

ODC Attribution License / ODC-By

ODC Open Database License / ODbL

  • - a copyleft license agreement intended to allow users to freely share, modify, and use a database while maintaining this same freedom for others. ODbL is published by Open Data Commons, which is part of Open Knowledge Foundation. The ODbL was created with the goal of allowing users to share their data freely without worrying about problems relating to copyright or ownership. It allows users to freely use the data in the database, including in other databases; edit existing data in the database; and add new data to the database. The license establishes the rights of users of the database, as well as the correct procedure for attributing credit where credit is due for the data, and how to make changes or improvements in the data, thus simplifying the sharing and comparison of data.

ODC Public Domain Dedication and License / PDDL

Community Data License Agreement / CDLA

  • Community Data License Agreement (CDLA) - Collaborative licenses to enable access, sharing and use of data openly among individuals and organizations. Open source software communities have shown the power of open collaboration building some of the world’s most important software assets together. There are communities also looking to collaboratively build datasets that can be shared and developed in a very similar model to software. For example, machine learning and AI systems require vast amounts of training data. Organizations, governments, researchers and others across the community are looking for ways to establish public-private sharing of data. The challenge is that intellectual property systems around the world treat data differently than software. Our common OSI-approved licenses do not work well applied to data. Our communities wanted to develop data license agreements that could enable sharing of data similar to what we have with open source software. The result is a large scale collaboration on licenses for sharing data under a legal framework which we call the Community Data License Agreement (CDLA).

  • CDLA-Permissive-1.0: The CDLA-Permissive agreement is similar to permissive open source licenses in that the publisher of data allows anyone to use, modify and do what they want with the data with no obligations to share any of their changes or modifications.
  • CDLA-Sharing-1.0: The CDLA-Sharing license was designed to embody the principles of copyleft in a data license. In general, if someone shares their data, the CDLA-Sharing agreement puts terms in place to ensure that downstream recipients can use and modify that data, and are also required to share their changes to the data.
  • O-UDA-1.0: The Open Use of Data Agreement (O-UDA) is intended to make it easier for individuals and organizations that want to share data to do so, with minimal requirements for users and no restrictions on use.
  • C-UDA-1.0: The Computational Use of Data Agreement (C-UDA) is intended to define a specific data use scenario involving the use of data sets for AI training purposes, in a manner consistent with expectations of commercial users.


  • - or libre standard is a standard whose specification is publicly available. The concept of Free/Libre standards emerged in the software industry as a reaction against closed de facto "standards" which served to reinforce monopolies. Users of a free standard have the same four freedoms associated with free software, and the freedom to participate in its development process. The standardisation process typically requires a complete free software reference implementation, which demonstrates that it is implementable and renders it usable. A libre standard is not patent-encumbered. The Free Standards Group, for example, developed standards and released them under the GNU Free Documentation License with no cover texts or invariant sections. Reference implementations and test suites, etc. were released as Free software. Similar processes are now followed by the various "open" standards bodies, the word "open" having been popularised by the "open source" movement in order to engage powerful industry players

  • - a standard that is openly accessible and usable by anyone. It is also a common prerequisite that open standards use an open license that provides for extensibility. Typically, anybody can participate in their development due to their inherently open nature. There is no single definition, and interpretations vary with usage.

  • - a file format for storing digital data, defined by an openly published specification usually maintained by a standards organization, and which can be used and implemented by anyone. An open file format is licensed with an open license. For example, an open format can be implemented by both proprietary and free and open-source software, using the typical software licenses used by each. In contrast to open file formats, closed file formats are considered trade secrets. Depending on the definition, the specification of an open format may require a fee to access or, very rarely, contain other restrictions. The range of meanings is similar to that of the term open standard.

  • Open Standards principles - GOV.UK - Open Standards are one of the most powerful tools we have to open up government. They make it possible for the smallest supplier to compete with the largest. They make data open for any citizen to audit. They unlock the transformative power of open source software. This version of the Open Standards Principles builds on the version originally published in 2012 and revised in 2015. They underscore our commitment to digital modernisation and increased accessibility. With these principles in place, we are on-course to recognise the massive efficiency gains of web-scale technologies. We have accomplished so much with open standards. Huge transformational programmes such as Verify, Pay, and the GOV.UK website are all backed by mature and scalable open standards. We are improving the way documents are generated, edited, and stored by adopting the Open Document Format (ODF). We continue to drive the development of open standards by working with industry and academia and becoming members of standards development organisations like the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).


  • - In the 1950s and into the 1960s almost all software was produced by academics and corporate researchers working in collaboration, often shared as public-domain software. As such, it was generally distributed under the principles of openness and cooperation long established in the fields of academia, and was not seen as a commodity in itself. Such communal behavior later became a central element of the so-called hacking culture (a term with a positive connotation among open-source programmers). At this time, source code, the human-readable form of software, was generally distributed with the software machine code because users frequently modified the software themselves, because it would not run on different hardware or OS without modification, and also to fix bugs or add new functions.[failed verification] The first example of free and open-source software is believed to be the A-2 system, developed at the UNIVAC division of Remington Rand in 1953, which was released to customers with its source code. They were invited to send their improvements back to UNIVAC. Later, almost all IBM mainframe software was also distributed with source code included. User groups such as that of the IBM 701, called SHARE, and that of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), called DECUS, were formed to facilitate the exchange of software. The SHARE Operating System, originally developed by General Motors, was distributed by SHARE for the IBM 709 and 7090 computers. Some university computer labs even had a policy requiring that all programs installed on the computer had to come with published source-code files. In 1969 the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), a transcontinental, high-speed computer network was constructed. The network (later succeeded by the Internet) simplified the exchange of software code. Some free software which was developed in the 1970s continues to be developed and used, such as TeX (developed by Donald Knuth) and SPICE.

Software was not considered copyrightable before the 1974 US Commission on New Technological Uses of Copyrighted Works (CONTU) decided that "computer programs, to the extent that they embody an author's original creation, are proper subject matter of copyright". Therefore, software had no licenses attached and was shared as public-domain software, typically with source code. The CONTU decision plus later court decisions such as Apple v. Franklin in 1983 for object code, gave computer programs the copyright status of literary works and started the licensing of software and the shrink-wrap closed source software business model.

To increase revenues, a general trend began to no longer distribute source code (easily readable by programmers), and only distribute the executable machine code that was compiled from the source code. One person especially distressed by this new practice was Richard Stallman. He was concerned that he could no longer study or further modify programs initially written by others. Stallman viewed this practice as ethically wrong. In response, he founded the GNU Project in 1983 so that people could use computers using only free software. He established a non-profit organization, the Free Software Foundation, in 1985, to more formally organize the project. He invented copyleft, a legal mechanism to preserve the "free" status of a work subject to copyright, and implemented this in the GNU General Public License. Copyleft licenses allow authors to grant a number of rights to users (including rights to use a work without further charges, and rights to obtain, study and modify the program's complete corresponding source code) but requires derivatives to remain under the same license or one without any additional restrictions. Since derivatives include combinations with other original programs, downstream authors are prevented from turning the initial work into proprietary software, and invited to contribute to the copyleft commons. Later, variations of such licenses were developed by others.

  • - The English adjective free is commonly used in one of two meanings: "at no monetary cost" (gratis) and "with little or no restriction" (libre). This ambiguity of free can cause issues where the distinction is important, as it often is in dealing with laws concerning the use of information, such as copyright and patents. The terms gratis and libre may be used to categorise intellectual property, particularly computer programs, according to the licenses and legal restrictions that cover them, in the free software and open source communities, as well as the broader free culture movement. For example, they are used to distinguish freeware (software gratis) from free software (software libre). Richard Stallman summarised the difference in a slogan: "Think free as in free speech, not free beer."

  • Software Freedom Conservancy - SFC is a not-for-profit charity that helps promote, improve, develop, and defend Free, Libre, and Open Source Software (FLOSS) projects. Conservancy provides a non-profit home and infrastructure for FLOSS projects. This allows FLOSS developers to focus on what they do best — writing and improving FLOSS for the general public — while Conservancy takes care of the projects' needs that do not relate directly to software development and documentation.

  • OSS Watch - provides unbiased advice and guidance on the use, development, and licensing of free software, open source software, and open source hardware.

  • - the practice of attempting to increase the awareness and improve the perception of open-source software. In some cases, this may be in opposition to proprietary software or intellectual property concepts (e.g. patents and copyrights as a whole). Leading open-source advocates include Brian Behlendorf, Tim O'Reilly, Eric Raymond, Linus Torvalds, Mitch Kapor, Jim Jagielski and Paul Vixie. Others that advocate the related free software movement include Richard Stallman, Alan Cox, Jimmy Wales and Eben Moglen. Bruce Perens is a prominent figure who works to promote both terms.

See also Organising#Unconference

  • OpenHatch - a non-profit dedicated to matching prospective free software contributors with communities, tools, and education.

  • - FOSSology is an open source license compliance software system and toolkit. As a toolkit you can run license, copyright and export control scans from the command line. As a system, a database and web ui are provided to give you a compliance workflow. License, copyright and export scanners are tools used in the workflow.

  • - the phenomenon of an abundance of already existing and the continued creation of new software licenses for software and software packages in the FOSS ecosystem. License proliferation affects the whole FOSS ecosystem negatively by the burden of increasingly complex license selection, license interaction, and license compatibility considerations.

  • - applied in open-source software development when software licenses of software modules are incompatible and are required to be compatible for a greater combined work. Licenses applied to software as copyrightable works, in source code as binary form, can contain contradictory clauses. These requirements can make it impossible to combine source code or content of several software works to create a new combined one.

  • Dual Licensing - Dual licensing is a business model for creative work covered by copyright. In software, dual licensing means giving everyone free permission to use the software in some ways while selling permission to use it in others. For example, a developer might allow noncommercial use of their software for free while charging for commercial use. Or they may allow use of their work in free, open projects while charing for use in closed, proprietary ones. Dual licensing is sometimes called “selling exceptions”. The license terms for free use are “the rule”. Paid permissions to break that rule are the “exceptions”.
  • - the practice of distributing software under two or more different sets of terms and conditions. This may mean multiple different software licenses or sets of licenses. Prefixes may be used to indicate the number of licenses used, e.g. dual-licensed for software licensed under two different licenses. Multi-licensing is commonly done to support free software business models in a commercial environment. In this scenario, one option is a proprietary software license, which allows the possibility of creating proprietary applications derived from it, while the other license is a copyleft free software/open-source license, thus requiring any derived work to be released under the same license. The copyright holder of the software then typically provides the free version of the software at little or no cost, and profits by selling proprietary licenses to commercial operations looking to incorporate the software into their own business. This model can be compared to shareware.


  • - Ethical, easy-to-use and privacy-conscious alternatives to well-known software

  • Open Source Guides - created and are curated by GitHub, along with input from outside community reviewers, but they are not exclusive to GitHub products. One reason we started this project is that we felt that there weren't enough resources for people creating open-source projects. Our goal was to aggregate community best practices, not what GitHub (or any other individual or entity) thinks is best. Therefore, we used examples and quotations from others to illustrate our points.



  • - an initiative by Canonical Ltd. about contributor agreements for Open Source software. The aim of the Harmony project is to develop templates of Contributor License Agreements for use by Free and open source software (FOSS) projects. The Canonical initiative was announced in June 2010 by Amanda Brock, General Counsel at Canonical. In July 2011, the project released version 1.0 of its agreements templates. Following this release, the project was seen by some as an important step for intellectual property and copyright management for open Source software, and by some others as "Making an exception (ie copyright aggregation) the norm". The project proposes two types of options for the Contributor License Agreements: Copyright License: The contributors retain the copyright to their contribution. Copyright Assignment: The contributors transfer the copyright of their contribution to the project.

  • Contributor Agreements - The Next Generation - The goal of is to develop the legal and technical infrastructure that will enable open source collaborative projects to receive, use, and share in-kind contributions from participants while eliminating or minimizing the legal risk therefrom to the projects and those who depend on them. Easy to use template agreements mean less friction (transaction cost) and more time to create. In order to achieve this goal, was established as a platform to deepen the discussion around the practices and legal questions for contributor agreements, and to provide additional generic information relevant for any legal strategy considered by open collaborative projects. A summary of our thoughts and suggestions can be found at SCRIPTed 2013 Volume 10 Issue 2. We realize that contributor agreements are one available tool out of many in an overall legal strategy for open collaborative projects, and we don’t intend to suggest that contributor agreements are necessary for all successful legal strategies. Rather, we hope to assist projects and organizations that have decided to use contributor agreements by providing a new generation of standardized terms, adaptable and easy to use for established and emerging projects in order to avoid friction and transaction costs. Through this platform we propose to explore in more detail how to make such contributor agreements suitable for multiple jurisdictions and how to offer an efficient system to mediate and move rights between contributors (developers and creators), projects, and end-users.

  • Don't sign a CLA - So to you, the contributor: if you are contributing to open source and you want it to stay that way, you should not sign a CLA. When you send a patch to a project, you are affording them the same rights they afforded you. The relationship is one of equals. This is a healthy balance. When you sign a CLA, you give them unequal power over you. If you’re scratching an itch and just want to submit the patch in good faith, it’s easy enough to fork the project and put up your changes in a separate place. This is a right afforded to you by every open source license, and it’s easy to do. Anyone who wants to use your work can apply your patches on top of the upstream software. Don’t sign away your rights!

  • - DCO, is a statement that a software developer agrees to, saying that "the contributor is allowed to make the contribution and that the project has the right to distribute it under its license." It was introduced in 2004 by the Linux Foundation, to enhance the submission process for software used in the Linux kernel, shortly after the SCO–Linux disputes. DCOs are often used as an alternative to a Contributor License Agreement (CLA). Instead of a signed legal contract, a DCO is an affirmation that the source code being submitted originated from the developer, or that the developer has permission to submit the code. Proponents of the DCO contend that it reduces the barriers of entry introduced by a CLA.


  • - The open-source-software movement is commonly cited to have a diversity problem. In some ways it reflects that of the general gender disparity in computing, but in general is assumed to be even more severe. The same can be extended to the racial and ethnic diversity of the movement. "Diversity" in this article uses the academic Critical Theory definition. The topic has been and continues to be the subject of significant controversy within the open-source community.


  • - a non-profit foundation with the mission to promote and assist free and open digital hardware designs and their related ecosystems. It was set up by the core OpenRISC development team in response to decreasing support from the commercial owners of the website. The main sponsor of the FOSSi Foundation is Google and past sponsors included Cadence Design Systems and Embecosm. The FOSSi Foundation should not be confused with the Free Silicon Foundation.



  • SPDX License List | Software Package Data Exchange (SPDX) - a list of commonly found licenses and exceptions used in free and open source and other collaborative software or documentation. The purpose of the SPDX License List is to enable easy and efficient identification of such licenses and exceptions in an SPDX document, in source files or elsewhere. The SPDX License List includes a standardized short identifier, full name, vetted license text including matching guidelines markup as appropriate, and a canonical permanent URL for each license and exception.

  • - or REL is a machine-processable language used to express intellectual property rights (such as copyright) and other terms and conditions for use over content. RELs can be used as standalone expressions (i.e. metadata usable for search, compatibility tracking) or within a DRM system.

RELs are expressible in a machine-language (such as XML, RDF , RDF Schema, and JSON). Although RELs may be processed directly, they can also be encountered when embedded as metadata within other documents, such as eBooks, image, audio or video files.

  • - a legal framework that allows for pieces of software with different software licenses to be distributed together. The need for such a framework arises because the different licenses can contain contradictory requirements, rendering it impossible to legally combine source code from separately-licensed software in order to create and publish a new program.[failed verification] Proprietary licenses are generally program-specific and incompatible; authors must negotiate to combine code. Copyleft licenses are commonly deliberately incompatible with proprietary licenses, in order to prevent copyleft software from being re-licensed under a proprietary license, turning it into proprietary software. Many copyleft licenses explicitly allow relicensing under some other copyleft licenses. Permissive licenses are (with minor exceptions) compatible with everything, including proprietary licenses; there is thus no guarantee that all derived works will remain under a permissive license.

  • LibrePlanet - an organizing space for everyone in the free software and free culture movements to collaborate around their own needs and concerns. LibrePlanet will work to provide the necessary infrastructure, tools, and resources to help free software proponents amplify their advocacy.

  • Fast Path - Complete this form create a ZIP archive with an order form template and legal terms for a commercial software license agreement.

  • The CRAPL - An academic-strength open source license. An open source license for academics has additional needs: (1) it should require that source and modifications used to validate scientific claims be released with those claims; and (2) more importantly, it should absolve authors of shame, embarrassment and ridicule for ugly code.

  • - OSOR, is an online project launched by the European Commission under the IDABC programme, to support the distribution and re-use of software developed by or for public sector administrations across Europe, connecting EU services and Member States. In December 2011, the and communities moved to a new collaborative platform - Joinup. The reason for the migration to Joinup was to provide public administrations in Europe with better communication and collaboration tools, to share experiences with interoperability solutions for public administrations, to increase the number of users and to leverage synergies between the and user communities, while optimising the use of public funding.
  • - a collaboration platform created by the European Commission. It is funded by the European Union via its Interoperability Solutions for Public Administrations Programme (ISA Programme).

Joinup was launched on 9 December 2011. It replaced the Open Source Observatory and Repository (, and the Semantic Interoperability Centre Europe (, themselves communities funded by the ISA Programme. These two became Joinup's initial communities.

Artistic License


Creative Commons

  • - This page identifies the principal improvements to the Creative Commons license suite since the publication of the first licenses (version 1.0) in December 2002, through the current version 4.0, published November 2013. It also highlights important similarities and differences among the major license versions. For more information on using CC tools or works offered under Creative Commons licenses, consult the Frequently Asked Questions page. For a further historical perspective, you are invited to review deprecated CC legal tools identified on the retired legal tools page. Please note that the summaries below may not reflect all changes between license versions or fully or accurately describe the differences between them. CC cannot provide legal advice, and what follows is not legal advice. What follows below is a general description of differences and similarities between the license versions, for general informational purposes only. Consult your own attorney if you are in need of legal advice.


  • - sometimes also called BSD-like or BSD-style license, is a free-software license which instead of copyleft protections, carries only minimal restrictions on how the software can be used, modified, and redistributed, usually including a warranty disclaimer. Examples include the GNU All-permissive License, MIT License, BSD licenses, Apple Public Source License and Apache license. As of 2016, the most popular free-software license is the permissive MIT license.


  • - are a family of permissive free software licenses, imposing minimal restrictions on the use and distribution of covered software. This is in contrast to copyleft licenses, which have share-alike requirements. The original BSD license was used for its namesake, the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD), a Unix-like operating system. The original version has since been revised, and its descendants are referred to as modified BSD licenses.

BSD is both a license and a class of license (generally referred to as BSD-like). The modified BSD license (in wide use today) is very similar to the license originally used for the BSD version of Unix. The BSD license is a simple license that merely requires that all code retain the BSD license notice if redistributed in source code format, or reproduce the notice if redistributed in binary format. The BSD license (unlike some other licenses e.g. GPL) does not require that source code be distributed at all.


License The license is very similar to the 2-clause Simplified BSD License used by the support of FreeBSD, however, it makes the applications of "source code" and "compile" less obscure in the context of documentation. It also includes an obligatory disclaimer about IEEE and Open Group manuscript in some old-fashioned sheets.


University of Illinois/NCSA Open Source License / UIUC


  • - a permissive free software license published by the Internet Software Consortium, now called Internet Systems Consortium (ISC). It is functionally equivalent to the simplified BSD and MIT licenses, but without language deemed unnecessary following the Berne Convention.[nb 1][nb 2]

Apache Software Foundation

  • Apache Software Foundation Licenses - various licenses to distribute software and documentation, and to accept regular contributions from individuals and corporations and larger grants of existing software products. These licenses help us achieve our goal of providing reliable and long-lived software products through collaborative, open-source software development. In all cases, contributors retain full rights to use their original contributions for any other purpose outside of Apache while providing the ASF and its projects the right to distribute and build upon their work within Apache.

  • - a permissive free software license written by the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). It allows users to use the software for any purpose, to distribute it, to modify it, and to distribute modified versions of the software under the terms of the license, without concern for royalties. The ASF and its projects release their software products under the Apache License. The license is also used by many non-ASF projects.

Blue Oak Model License

  • Blue Oak Model License 1.0.0 - demonstrates all the techniques that licenses can use to make software free and simple for everyone to use and build on, in everyday language that everyone can understand.

  • Deprecation Notice: MIT and BSD — /dev/lawyer - With licenses like Blue Oak available, it’s time open source upgraded from academic forms of the ’80s. There are good social, practical, and especially legal reasons to do so. MIT and BSD don’t handle patents. Both copyrights and patents apply to software, but the word “patent” does not appear in MIT or BSD terms. MIT and Cal’s tech transfer offices say they never intended to license any patents. There is some argument that other words, like “use”, imply permission under patents, anyway. And there is some law that may or may not imply patent permission, when giving someone a copy of software. But a license can avoid all that uncertainty by spelling out plainly that it covers all relevant intellectual property. MIT and BSD don’t. Licenses like Apache 2.0 show how lawyers do this in legal terms for private deals every day. Blue Oak shows the same job done in everyday English, without long lists, run-on sentences, or complex scope rules. [8]


Educational Community License

  • - ECL version 2.0 was approved by the Open Source Initiative in the Summer of 2007, and the Free Software Foundation lists it as being a "GPL-Compatible Free Software License" that is compatible with version 3 of the GNU General Public License but not compatible with GPLv2. This means that a software developer can mix code from an ECLv2 licensed project and a GPLv3 licensed project but, due to license terms incompatibility, they are not allowed to mix code from an ECLv2 project and a GPLv2 project. EDUCAUSE (Ref 2 below) says of the ECL, "It is essentially the Apache 2.0 license with a modification of the patent language to make it workable for many colleges and universities."


  • - an open source license according to the Open Source Initiative, and a non-copyleft free software license according to the Free Software Foundation. The license is GPL-incompatible due to restrictions on the usage of the term PHP. Debian maintainers have had a long-standing discussion (since at least 2005) about the validity of the PHP license. Expressed concerns include that the license "contains statements about the software it covers that are specific to distributing PHP itself", which, for other software than PHP itself therefore would be "false statements". Debian has a specific policy for the license (and requires a statement in debian/copyright file when it is used): "The PHP license must only be used for PHP and PHP add-ons."

Fair License

  • - a short, simple and permissive free software licence. Its text is composed of only one sentence and a disclaimer, thus being the shortest license ever approved by the Open Source Initiative. It is also possible to use the Fair License for images, books, music or more generally all kinds of media.

Functional Source License / FSL

  • FSL - Functional Source License - a mostly permissive non-compete license that converts to Apache 2.0 or MIT after two years. It is designed for SaaS companies that value both user freedom and developer sustainability. FSL provides everything a developer needs to use and learn from your software without harmful free-riding.


  • - the legal technique of granting certain freedoms over copies of copyrighted works with the requirement that the same rights be preserved in derivative works. In this sense, freedoms refers to the use of the work for any purpose, and the ability to modify, copy, share, and redistribute the work, with or without a fee. Licenses which implement copyleft can be used to maintain copyright conditions for works ranging from computer software, to documents, art, scientific discoveries and even certain patents. Copyleft software licenses are considered protective or reciprocal in contrast with permissive free software licenses, and require that information necessary for reproducing and modifying the work must be made available to recipients of the software program, which are often distributed as executables. This information is most commonly in the form of source code files, which usually contain a copy of the license terms and acknowledge the authors of the code. Notable copyleft licenses include the GNU General Public License (GPL), originally written by Richard Stallman, which was the first software copyleft license to see extensive use, the Mozilla Public License, the Free Art License, and the Creative Commons share-alike license condition, with the last two being intended for other types of works, such as documents and pictures, both academic or artistic in nature.

  • - a copyright licensing term, originally used by the Creative Commons project, to describe works or licenses that require copies or adaptations of the work to be released under the same or similar license as the original. Copyleft licenses are free content or free software licenses with a share-alike condition.

  • Essays and Articles - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation - Free software is a matter of freedom: people should be free to use software in all the ways that are socially useful. Software differs from material objects—such as chairs, sandwiches, and gasoline—in that it can be copied and changed much more easily. These possibilities make software as useful as it is; we believe software users should be able to make use of them.

  • Copyleft Compliance Projects - Software Freedom Conservancy - As existing donors and sustainers know, the Software Freedom Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity registered in New York, and Conservancy helps people take control of their computing by growing the software freedom movement, supporting community-driven alternatives to proprietary software, and defending free software with practical initiatives. Conservancy accomplishes these goals with various initiatives, including defending and upholding the rights of software users and consumers under copyleft licenses, such as the GPL.

General Public License / GPL

  • - GNU GPL or simply GPL) is a series of widely used free software licenses that guarantee end users the four freedoms to run, study, share, and modify the software. The license was the first copyleft for general use and was originally written by the founder of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), Richard Stallman, for the GNU Project. The license grants the recipients of a computer program the rights of the Free Software Definition. These GPL series are all copyleft licenses, which means that any derivative work must be distributed under the same or equivalent license terms. It is more restrictive than the Lesser General Public License and even further distinct from the more widely used permissive software licenses BSD, MIT, and Apache.

Historically, the GPL license family has been one of the most popular software licenses in the free and open-source software domain. Prominent free software programs licensed under the GPL include the Linux kernel and the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC). David A. Wheeler argues that the copyleft provided by the GPL was crucial to the success of Linux-based systems, giving the programmers who contributed to the kernel the assurance that their work would benefit the whole world and remain free, rather than being exploited by software companies that would not have to give anything back to the community.

In 2007, the third version of the license (GPLv3) was released to address some perceived problems with the second version (GPLv2) which were discovered during the latter's long-time usage. To keep the license up to date, the GPL license includes an optional "any later version" clause, allowing users to choose between the original terms or the terms in new versions as updated by the FSF. Software projects licensed with the optional "or later" clause include the GNU Project, while the Linux kernel, for instance, is licensed under GPLv2 only. The "or any later version" clause is sometimes known as a lifeboat clause since it allows combinations between different versions of GPL licensed software to maintain compatibility.

  • - the practice of designing hardware that incorporates software under the terms of a copyleft software license like the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL), but uses hardware restrictions or digital rights management (DRM) to prevent users from running modified versions of the software on that hardware. Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) coined the term in reference to TiVo's use of GNU GPL licensed software on the TiVo brand digital video recorders (DVR), which actively block modified software by design. Stallman believes this practice denies users some of the freedom that the GNU GPL was designed to protect. The FSF refers to tivoized hardware as "proprietary tyrants".

The Free Software Foundation explicitly forbade tivoization in version 3 of the GNU General Public License. However, although version 3 has been adopted by many software projects, the authors of the Linux kernel have notably declined to move from version 2 to version 3.


  • - a free-software license published by the Free Software Foundation (FSF). The license allows developers and companies to use and integrate a software component released under the LGPL into their own (even proprietary) software without being required by the terms of a strong copyleft license to release the source code of their own components. However, any developer who modifies an LGPL-covered component is required to make their modified version available under the same LGPL license. For proprietary software, code under the LGPL is usually used in the form of a shared library, so that there is a clear separation between the proprietary and LGPL components. The LGPL is primarily used for software libraries, although it is also used by some stand-alone applications. The LGPL was developed as a compromise between the strong copyleft of the GNU General Public License (GPL) and more permissive licenses such as the BSD licenses and the MIT License. The word "Lesser" in the title shows that the LGPL does not guarantee the end user's complete freedom in the use of software; it only guarantees the freedom of modification for components licensed under the LGPL, but not for any proprietary components.


  • Why the GNU Affero GPL - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation - The GNU Affero General Public License is a modified version of the ordinary GNU GPL version 3. It has one added requirement: if you run a modified program on a server and let other users communicate with it there, your server must also allow them to download the source code corresponding to the modified version running there.


Free Art License

Mozilla Public License / MPL

  • About MPL 2.0: Revision Process and Changes FAQ — Mozilla - MPL 2.0 was drafted over a period of 21 months in a public process that included extensive feedback from a variety of people, including MPL users, lawyers, and open source community groups like the Free Software Foundation and Open Source Initiative.

Common Public License / CPL

  • - a free software / open-source software license published by IBM. The Free Software Foundation and Open Source Initiative have approved the license terms of the CPL. The CPL has the stated aims of supporting and encouraging collaborative open-source development while still retaining the ability to use the CPL'd content with software licensed under other licenses, including many proprietary licenses. The Eclipse Public License (EPL) consists of a slightly modified version of the CPL.

The CPL has some terms that resemble those of the GNU General Public License (GPL), but some key differences exist. A similarity relates to distribution of a modified computer program: under either license (CPL or GPL), one must make the source code of a modified program available to others. CPL, like the GNU Lesser General Public License, allows non-CPL-licensed software to link to a library under CPL without requiring the linked source code to be made available to the licensee. CPL lacks compatibility with both versions of the GPL because it has a "choice of law" section in section 7, which restricts legal disputes to a certain court. Another source of incompatibility is the differing copyleft requirements.

Eclipse Public License / EPL

  • - a free and open source software license most notably used for the Eclipse IDE and other projects by the Eclipse Foundation. It replaces the Common Public License (CPL) and removes certain terms relating to litigations related to patents. The Eclipse Public License is designed to be a business-friendly free software license, and features weaker copyleft provisions than licenses such as the GNU General Public License (GPL). The receiver of EPL-licensed programs can use, modify, copy and distribute the work and modified versions, in some cases being obligated to release their own changes.

Common Development and Distribution License / CDDA

  • - a free and open-source software license, produced by Sun Microsystems, based on the Mozilla Public License (MPL). Files licensed under the CDDL can be combined with files licensed under other licenses, whether open source or proprietary. In 2005 the Open Source Initiative approved the license. The Free Software Foundation (FSF) considers it a free software license, but one which is incompatible with the GNU General Public License (GPL).


Derived from the Mozilla Public License 1.1, the CDDL tries to address some of the problems of the MPL. Like the MPL, the CDDL is a weak copyleft license in-between GPL license and BSD/MIT permissive licenses, requiring only source code files under CDDL to remain under CDDL. Unlike strong copyleft licenses like the GPL, mixing of CDDL licensed source code files with source code files under other licenses is permitted without relicensing. The resulting compiled software product ("binary") can be licensed and sold under a different license, as long as the source code is still available under CDDL, which should enable more commercial business cases, according to Sun. Like the MPL the CDDL includes a patent grant to the licensee from all contributors ("patent peace"). However, in section 2.1(d), the patent grant is lost if the code implementing a patented feature is modified.

GNU Free Documentation License / GFDL

  • - GNU FDL or simply GFDL) is a copyleft license for free documentation, designed by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) for the GNU Project. It is similar to the GNU General Public License, giving readers the rights to copy, redistribute, and modify (except for "invariant sections") a work and requires all copies and derivatives to be available under the same license. Copies may also be sold commercially, but, if produced in larger quantities (greater than 100), the original document or source code must be made available to the work's recipient. The GFDL was designed for manuals, textbooks, other reference and instructional materials, and documentation which often accompanies GNU software. However, it can be used for any text-based work, regardless of subject matter. For example, the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia uses the GFDL (coupled with the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License) for much of its text, excluding text that was imported from other sources after the 2009 licensing update that is only available under the Creative Commons license.

GNU Simpler Free Documentation License / GSFDL


  • CeCILL - Today Free Software is important in the scientific community as well as in administrations and in the entreprise. Nevertheless, the use of licenses created in the US, such as the GNU General Public License raises some legal issues. These issues may lead to uncertainties that may prevent some companies and organisations to contribute Free Software. To provide a better legal safety while keeping the spirit of these licenses, three French public research organisations, CEA, CNRS and Inria launched a projet to write Free Software licenses conforming to French law. CEA, CNRS and Inria released CeCILL in july 2004. CeCILL is the first license defining the principles of use and dissemination of Free Software in conformance with French law, following the principles of the GNU GPL. This license is meant to be used by companies, research institutions and all organisations willing to release software under a GPL-like license while ensuring a standard level of legal safety. CeCILL is also perfectly suited to international projects.

After CeCILL, CEA, CNRS and Inria released CeCILL-B and CeCILL-C, two licenses that offer other models for developpers to control the reuse of their software. They provide the same level of legal safety as CeCILL does. Authorizing the reuse of components under CeCILL-B or CeCILL-C in a software that can be distributed under any license, they thus encourage a wider diffusion of these components. CeCILL-B follows the principle of the popular BSD license and its variants (Apache, X11 or W3C among others). In exchange for strong citation obligations (in all software incorporating a program covered by CeCILL-B and also through a Web site), the author authorizes the reuse of its software without any other constraints. CeCILL-C is well suited to libraries and more generally software components.

Anyone distributing an application which includes components under the CeCILL-C license must mention this fact and make any changes to the source code of these components available to the community under CECILL-C while being free to choose the licence of its application. CeCILL, CeCILL-B and CeCILL-C are the first coherent family of Free Software licenses. The three licenses share most of their text and their compatibilitiy is explicitely ensured. This family has been designed as a new tool, legally efficient and original, covering many needs, for developpers of Free Software as well as companies and organizations wishing to use them with better legal safety.

Open Software License / OSL

  • - a software license created by Lawrence Rosen. The Open Source Initiative (OSI, has certified it as an open-source license, but the Debian project judged version 1.1 to be incompatible with the DFSG. The OSL is a copyleft license, with a termination clause triggered by filing a lawsuit alleging patent infringement. Many people in the free software and open-source community feel that software patents are harmful to software, and are particularly harmful to open-source software. The OSL attempts to counteract that by creating a pool of software which a user can use if that user does not harm it by attacking it with a patent lawsuit.

European Union Public Licence / EUPL

  • The EUPL, Guidelines, FAQ, Infographics - The “European Union Public Licence” (EUPL) The EUPL is the first European Free/Open Source Software (F/OSS) licence. It has been created on the initiative of the European Commission. It is now approved by the European Commission in 22 official languages of the European Union.

  • - a free software licence that was written and approved by the European Commission. The licence is available in 23 official languages of the European Union. All linguistic versions have the same validity. Its latest version, EUPL v1.2, was published in May 2017. Revised documentation for v1.2 was issued in late‑2021. Software, mainly produced by European administrations, has been licensed under the EUPL since the launch of the European Open Source Observatory and Repository (OSOR) in October 2008, now part of Joinup collaborative platform.

EUPL was originally intended to be used for the distribution of software developed in the framework of the IDABC programme, given its generic scope it was also suitable for use by any software developer. Its main goal is its focusing on being consistent with the copyright law in the Member States of the European Union, while retaining compatibility with popular free software licences such as the GNU General Public License. The first IDABC software packages mentioned are CIRCA groupware, IPM and the eLink G2G, G2C, G2B specification software.

Source-available software

  • - software released through a source code distribution model that includes arrangements where the source can be viewed, and in some cases modified, but without necessarily meeting the criteria to be called open-source. The licenses associated with the offerings range from allowing code to be viewed for reference to allowing code to be modified and redistributed for both commercial and non-commercial purposes.

  • The Copyleft Bust Up — /dev/lawyer - "The two great camps of copyleft developers—software freedom activists and competitive upstarts—have split apart again. Upstarts can no longer achieve their goals with activist copyleft licenses. Activists don’t inhabit the same computing universe, or feel the same pain. So upstart copyleft developers are writing new licenses for themselves, on their own." [12]

  • Cooperative Technology - "We believe a significant reason for the failures of both "free software" and "open source" to prevent this cooptation is that the men who coined and initially promoted these terms did not and do not critique capitalism. Richard Stallman has generally dodged the question of whether free software is opposed to capitalism. In the historical context of the United States in the 1980s, that may have been a wise decision. But that was then, and now it is 2021. The promoters of "open source" emphasize its compatibility with capitalism and go out of their way to distance "open source" from critiques of capitalism. To effectively resist cooptation and expand our movement, we believe we need to build on the FOSS movement with an explicitly anticapitalist political movement which proactively collaborates with other movements for justice.

"We believe the focus of the cooperative technology movement should be on the practical impacts that the use of technology has on humans and the universe we inhabit. The scope of this extends beyond humans and must consider the environment around us. Moreover, we believe it is counterproductive to have a small self-appointed group of privileged men determine what our movement's terminology, goals, and tactics are. We encourage anyone interested in building a better world through technology to engage in discussions with your own communities about what you want "cooperative technology" to mean.

"While we agree with the Ethical Software Movement that we must resist when our efforts are coopted for unjust purposes, we reject putting restrictions on the ways people may use software through copyright licenses as a wise tactic for achieving our goals. The history of the Free and Open Source Software movement has shown that the proliferation of incompatible copyright licenses which prohibit software from being legally combined creates more obstacles than opportunities for our movement. Any new copyright licenses for use with cooperative software must be written with this consideration in mind to intentionally avoid fracturing the software ecosystem. Adopting incompatible copyright licenses for different software would make it easy for our adversaries to divide and suppress the movement."

Shared Source Initiative / MPL

  • - a source-available software licensing scheme launched by Microsoft in May 2001. The program includes a spectrum of technologies and licenses, and most of its source code offerings are available for download after eligibility criteria are met. Microsoft's Shared Source Initiative allows individuals and organizations to access Microsoft's source code for reference (e.g. when developing complementary systems), for review and auditing from a security perspective (mostly wanted by some large corporations and governments), and for development (academic institutions, OEMs, individual developers).

Aladdin Free Public License / AFPL

  • - abbreviated AFPL, is a license written by L. Peter Deutsch for his Ghostscript PostScript language interpreter. The license was derived from the GNU General Public License, but differs on two key points: The source code must be included with any software distribution. The software may not be sold, including any fees involved with distribution.

Java Research License / AFPL

  • - a software distribution license created by Sun in an effort to simplify and relax the terms from the "research section" of the Sun Community Source License. Sun's J2SE 1.6.0, Mustang, is licensed under the JRL as well as many projects at The JRL was introduced in 2003 to try to "make things a lot more friendly to people doing academic research" into the Java language, before the core of Java was made open source in 2006. Although the JRL has elements of an open source license, the terms forbid any commercial use and are thus incompatible with both the Free Software Definition and the Open Source Definition. The JRL is a research license to be used for non-commercial academic uses.

Open-core model

  • - a business model for the monetization of commercially produced open-source software. Coined by Andrew Lampitt in 2008, the open-core model primarily involves offering a "core" or feature-limited version of a software product as free and open-source software, while offering "commercial" versions or add-ons as proprietary software. The concept of open-core software has proven to be controversial, as many developers do not consider the business model to be true open-source software. Despite this, open-core models are used by many open-source software companies.

Some open-core products require their contributors to sign a contributor license agreement, which either dictates that the copyright of all contributions to the product become the property of its owner, or that the product's owner is given an unlimited, non-exclusive license to use the contributions, but the authors retain copyright ownership. In an open-core scenario, these agreements are typically meant to allow the commercial owner of the product (which in some cases, is ultimately the copyright holder to all of its code, regardless of its original author) to simultaneously market versions of the product under open-source and non-free licenses. This is in contrast with more traditional uses of CLAs, which are meant solely to allow the steward of an open-source project to defend and protect the copyrights of its contributors, or to guarantee that the code will only ever be made available under open-source terms (thus protecting it from becoming open core).

Business Source License / BSL

  • SurrealDB | License FAQs - The code licensed under the Business Source License is free to use and the source code is freely available, but users may not provide SurrealDB as a managed service, or a database-as-a-service (DBaaS), without an agreement with SurrealDB Ltd. The Business Source License is not certified as an open-source license, but most of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) criteria are met - allowing it to be used in production without limits on features, functionality, or cluster size.

  • The OpenTF Manifesto - Terraform was open-sourced in 2014 under the Mozilla Public License (v 2.0) (the “MPL”). Over the next ~9 years, it built up a community that included thousands of users, contributors, customers, certified practitioners, vendors, and an ecosystem of open-source modules, plugins, libraries, and extensions. Then, on August 10th, 2023, with little or no advance notice or chance for much, if not all, of the community to have any input, HashiCorp switched the license for Terraform from the MPL to the Business Source License (v1.1) (the “BSL”), a non-open source license. In our opinion, this change threatens the entire community and ecosystem that’s built up around Terraform over the last 9 years. [14]

Server Side Public License / SSPL

  • - a source-available software license introduced by MongoDB Inc. in 2018. It includes most of the text and provisions of the GNU Affero General Public License version 3 (AGPL v3), and primarily replaces section 13 "Remote Network Interaction; Use with the GNU General Public License." with a new section that requires that anyone who offers the functionality of SSPL-licensed software to third-parties as a service must release the entirety of their source code, including all software, APIs, and other software that would be required for a user to run an instance of the service themselves, under the SSPL. In contrast, the AGPL v3's section 13 covers only the program itself (the copyrightable work licensed under AGPL v3).

The SSPL is not recognized as free software by multiple parties, including the Open Source Initiative (OSI) and multiple major Linux vendors, as the aforementioned provision is discriminatory towards specific fields of use.

Commons Clause License / CCL

Cross License Collaborative Agreement / CLCA

  • Cross License Collaborative - These terms enable contributors working together on a project covered by copyrights or patents to make collective decisions about licensing their project as a whole.

Cooperative Source License

Parity Public License / PPL

Prosperity Public License


Cooperative Non-Violent Public License / CNPL

Nonviolent Public License / NPL

  • NVPL - Nonviolent Public License
  • CNPL - Cooperative Nonviolent Public License
  • NVPL-NA - Nonviolent Public License No Attributions
  • CNPL-NA - Cooperative Nonviolent Public License No Attributions

Peace Public License / PPL

Anti-Capitalist Software License / ACSL

  • The Anti-Capitalist Software License - a software license towards a world beyond capitalism. This license exists to release software that empowers individuals, collectives, worker-owned cooperatives, and nonprofits, while denying usage to those that exploit labor for profit. How is the Anti-Capitalist Software License different from other licenses? Most existing licenses, including free and open source licenses, consider qualities like source code availability, ease of use, commercialization, and attribution, none of which speak directly to the conditions under which the software is written. Instead, the ACSL considers the organization licensing the software, how they operate in the world, and how the people involved relate to one another. [16]

Hippocratic License

Polyform Project

  • PolyForm Noncommercial is a general noncommercial license for software.
  • PolyForm Perimeter permits uses other than those that compete with the software.
  • PolyForm Shield permits uses other than those that compete with the provider of the software.
  • PolyForm Strict removes permission to distribute copies and make changes, leaving only permission to use for noncommercial purposes.
  • PolyForm Internal Use permits use for internal business purposes. PolyForm Small Business permits use by small businesses and other small organizations.
  • PolyForm Free Trial permits a free, time-limited trial.

  • LGPL to Polyform - EPPlus Software - From version 5, we have changed the license from LGPL to Polyform Noncommercial 1.0.0 - a license that permits noncommercial use only. In combination with the Polyform Noncommercial license we sell licenses for customers who use EPPlus in a commercial business. Since EPPlus has been around for a while, you might wonder why we have decided to do this change.

Big Time Public License


  • - based on a critique of the approach by Creative Commons and other Copyleft approaches.A more recent development along similar lines is Copyfair. Copyfarleft is specifically limited to worker-owned entities and cooperatives, which some may find restrictive. So Copyfair addresses more generically the relations between commons communities and the market entities working with them, expecting reciprocity in exchange for commercial rights (note from Michel Bauwens)"The main argument advanced in the essay is that artists can not earn a living from exclusivity of "intellectual property" and that that neither copyleft licenses like the GPL, nor "copyjustright" frameworks such as the creative commons, can help."


  • Copyfair - P2P Foundation - an evolution of the Copyfarleft concept. Michel Bauwens: "The Copyfair is a principle which aims to re-introduce reciprocity requirements in market activities it aims to preserve the right of sharing knowledge without conditions but aims to subject commercialization of any such knowledge commons to some form of contribution to that commons. So the aim is to create 'ethical' entrepreneurial coalitions, consisting in preference in 'generative' entities such as cooperatives, solidarity economy entities, social entrepreneurship or any not-for-profit mission-oriented or purpose driven entity, which constitutes itself around a knowledge commons (mutualization of productive knowledge), and contribute to this commons to which they are all co-dependent."

  • - The peer production license is an example of the Copyfair type of license, in which only other commoners, cooperatives and nonprofits can share and re-use the material, but not commercial entities intent on making profit through the commons without explicit reciprocity. This fork on the original text of the Creative Commons non-commercial variant makes the PPL an explicitly anti-capitalist version of the CC-NC. It only allows commercial exploitation by collectives in which the ownership of the means of production is in the hands of the value creators, and where any surplus is distributed equally among them (and not only into the hands of owners, shareholders or absentee speculators). According to Dmytri Kleiner, co-author of the license with the barrister John Magyar, it’s not a copyleft license, but instead copyFARleft, and is intended for consumer goods or commodities rather than capital or producers’ goods.


  • - This is not a list of free programming books. This is a curated list of open source or open source licensed documents, guides, and books which can be read, used, modified, translated, redistributed and even rewritten under their same license.

Licence Libre du Québec / LiLiQ-P / LiLiQ-R

  • LiLiQ (english version) - Forge Gouvernementale - The Centre de services partagés du Québec has developped in 2015 a licence tailored for the public administration: the Québec Free and Open Source Licence (LiLiQ). The licence was developed in three versions that differ in their level of reciprocity according to varying needs. This licence has been submitted to the Open Source Initiative for validation and has been approved in january 2016.

a) LiLiQ-P, is a permissive license that does not impose any reciprocity obligations. It is therefore possible for a licensee to modify and distribute a software under the LiLiQ-P without the obligation to share the source code. Such softwares can be embedded in a proprietary software product. b) The LiLiQ-R (reciprocity) and LiLiQ-R+ (strong reciprocity) aim to preserve the openness of the software. Thus, anyone who modifies and distribute such software is required to do so under the terms of the LiLiQ and to allow access to the source code. The LiLiQ-R applies to modified software and the LiLiQ-R+ applies to both modified and derived softwares. c) Both LiLiQ-R et LiLiQ-R+ have a broad, liberal and innovative compatibility clause which allows a licensee, under certain conditions, to combine a software licensed under the LiLiQ to a software subject to another FOSS license.

to sort


  • - was a Swedish think tank established to support the free sharing of information, culture, and intellectual property. Piratbyrån provided a counterpoint to lobby groups such as the Swedish Anti-Piracy Bureau. In 2005 Piratbyrån released an anthology entitled Copy Me, containing selected texts previously available from its website. Members of Piratbyrån participated in debates on Swedish Radio and Swedish Television and also gave several lectures in other European countries, such as at the 2005 22nd Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin. Piratbyrån's activities might have changed over the years, partly as a result of the addition of the Pirate Party to the Swedish political scene. During Walpurgis Night 2007, Piratbyrån burned all of their remaining copies of Copy Me in a ritual-like performance, declaring: The file-sharing debate is hereby buried. When we talk about file-sharing from now on it's as one of many ways to copy. We talk about better and worse ways of indexing, archiving and copying—not whether copying is right or wrong. Winter is pouring down the hillside. Make way for spring!

  • - a congregation of file sharers who believe that copying information is a sacred virtue and was founded by Isak Gerson, a 19-year-old philosophy student, and Gustav Nipe in Uppsala, Sweden in the autumn of 2010. The Church, based in Sweden, has been officially recognized by the Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency as a religious community in January 2012, after three application attempts. Gerson has denied any connection between the Church and filesharing site The Pirate Bay, but both groups are associated with the Swedish art and hacking collective Piratbyrån.

The name Kopimism derives from the words copy and me which are the fundamental roots of the Church's beliefs and calls for an invitation to copy information. The word "Kopimi" first showed up on a pirate Agency Forum. Isak Gerson, one of the core founders saw something beautiful and theological in this concept of "copy me" and argued that the digital sharing of data is a fundamental act in our universe through the reproduction and copying of cells, DNA, and genes and that the entirety of the internet is essentially for sharing. Gerson has been credited with once saying, "The only thing we can do as Christians now, I suppose, is to do what Jesus tried doing – and do it better."



  • - a permissive free software license. As a public domain like license, the WTFPL is essentially the same as dedication to the public domain. It allows redistribution and modification of the work under any terms. The title is an abbreviation of "Do What The Fuck You Want To Public License".

to sort ml

  • Machine Learning Model Licenses — The Turing Way - Like a software license, a Machine Learning (ML) model license governs the use, redistribution of the model and/or algorithm, and distribution of any derivatives of it. However, there are other components to an AI system, such as data, source code, or applications, which may have their own separate licenses. ML model licenses may restrict the use of the model for specific scenarios for which, due to the technical capabilities and limitations of the model informed by its model card, the licensor is not comfortable that the model is used. While many ML models may utilise open software licensing (for example MIT, Apache 2.0), there are a number of ML model-specific licenses that may be developed for a specific model (for example OPT-175B license, BigScience BLOOM RAIL v1.0 License), company (for example Microsoft Data Use Agreement for Open AI Model Development), or series of models (for example BigScience OpenRAIL-M (Responsible AI License)).

CodeML Open RAIL-M License



  • PDF: Motivating Experts to Contribute to Digital Public Goods: A Personalized Field Experiment on Wikipedia - "We use a large-scale personalized field experiment on Wikipedia to examine the effect of motivation on domain experts’ contributions to digital public goods. In our baseline condition, 45% of the experts express willingness to contribute. Furthermore, experts are 13% more interested in contributing when we mention the private benefit of contribution, such as the likely citation of their work. In the contribution stage, using a machine learning model, we find that greater matching accuracy between a recommended Wikipedia article and an expert’s expertise, together with an exper"t’s reputation and the mentioning of public acknowledgement, are the most important predictors of both contribution length and quality. Our results show the potential of scalable personalized interventions using recommender systems to study drivers of prosocial behavior."