Talk:Comparison of free and open-source software licenses

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Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • Cleanup: Treat licence compatibilites outside of the Approvals section

License compatibility[edit]

The problem with this page, although well-intentioned, is that a global opinion about license compatibility is just that: global, and an opinion. Whether one license is compatible with another really isn't your, mine, or his decision to make. It is a decision that only a licensor can make. I may think that the BSD license is compatible with the GPL. If I do, then it doesn't matter if somebody else says it isn't, because I'm not going to initiate a lawsuit. Whatever the licensor says, goes, even if everybody else disagrees with him. RussNelson 01:12, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

That's a very interesting point of view
But i prefer to focus on the legal aspect only,that is to say if there are compatible or not
A text explaining your point of view can be added
We can also talk about additional permissions such as in the gpl where someone can give aditional permission on his code
This could be useful in order to cope with incompatibilities

00 tux 22:20, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, 00tux, but you cannot wiggle out of this philosophical problem simply by claiming that you are focussing on the legal aspect only. It's not enough to say whether a license is compatible or not. You have to say who says it, and who will listen to them. So, when the FSF says that the Apache 2.1 is not GPL compatible, and yet the ASF says that it is, who is right? You can't say who is right -- not if you want a NPOV. You have to say who says it, and who will listen to them. RussNelson 02:47, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

But there are global opinions pertaining to some of the licenses. If there's any debate as to whether certain licenses are compatible, their cell can just say 'contested', right? --Snarius 05:01, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

For me it`s interesting. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.183.187.69 (talk) 17:22, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Great points. But in the end, in the US and most countries, it's the courts who decide what each license means. Anything that is vague enough to be argued about, won't be clear until the wording is changed or it is challenged in court. I like Snarius' 'contested' idea, or at least adding *lots* of footnotes. --GlenPeterson (talk) 12:45, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

Copy-editing[edit]

I'm not really sure what to do with the gigantic table; it's not readable as it is, and there appears to be only one entry filled in... Cheyinka 10:16, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

This article is not worth putting any effort into it because of the philosophical problems I explained above. This article cannot be repaired because everyone who reads it has a POV that is important, and yet which may differ with the contents of the article. An NPOV article is simply not possible. Rather than try to achieve the impossible, better to not try. RussNelson 14:45, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
I've reduced its size somewhat. It might be easier to edit now. --Snarius 05:18, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

License Features[edit]

I added two columns on "license features" which treads dangerous close to NPOV. (Specifically, the default "yes/no" templates seem to suggest "yes" is good and "no" is bad, implying a value judgement.) In this case, I made "yes" be the least restrictive option, which is arguably a value judgement. Oh well. There's a reference to the chart this is based off (no original research) but I haven't really figured out a good way to link it. So right now it's a footnoot in the standard <ref> style. I don't really like that, but - oh well.

The table columns are a little wider than I'd like, since I tried to make the column titles as descriptive as possible. It may be better to choose simple titles for them and then add footnotes describing what is intended. — Xenoveritas 22:09, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Obviously I meant "non-NPOV" above - blah. I should have noticed that earlier. — Xenoveritas 02:47, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

License features are interesting. I guess not all licenses are resistant to any law tricks, like foul tricks with patents? A feature is for me for example resistant against foul patent tricks, or compatible with GPL, or copyleft, or license change allowed, many more... What about a new table for this?

Shared Source[edit]

Microsoft has some shared source licenses now. Two or so got also approved. Shouldn we add those licenses to this overview? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.183.187.69 (talk) 17:26, 15 May 2008 (UTC)


LGPL[edit]

The LGPL has a "Yes" in the "Link from code with a different license" column. While strictly true, it requires that you allow your code to be disassembled and reverse-engineered. I think this deserves at least a footnote... --GlenPeterson (talk) 12:53, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

No. It only require that the author of the combined work of an LGPL and non-LGPL work to not actively restrict users to reverse-engineer the LGPL part, and only the LGPL part of the work. The intent here is that the licensees should be able to modify the LGPL library part, and then re-link it with the application (like applying a security fix to a PDF parsing library being used in a browser). Any footnote would had to include the complete context, or it would confuse the reader. Belorn (talk) 07:46, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

Is it possible to relicense LGPL code as GPL code? It was possible with LGPL v2.1, wasn't it? Originalfmg (talk) 23:20, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

Yes. Any work solely licensed under the LGPL can be relicensed under the GPL (of the LGPL version). If its a combined work of LGPL and non-permissive licensed parts, then the combined work as a whole can not be relicensed. The purpose of allowing relicensing is mostly to allow copy and paste to be used from an LGPL source to a GPL project. Belorn (talk) 07:46, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

Rights[edit]

I'd like to see the details from this table [1] included in a "features" table on this article. I believe something like this would be very useful. --Hm2k (talk) 00:54, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

CDDL[edit]

Doesn't CDDL have a copyleft similar to MPL? Shouldn't "Release changes under a different license" be "No" and red? I'm not 100% sure about this, thus I didn't want to change it before asking. (Puce77 (talk) 12:39, 16 June 2010 (UTC))

Ni Faiwaiza (talk) 05:10, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

CPAL[edit]

Could someone comment on Common Public Attribution License? I'm no software licensing expert or lawyer so if anyone knows how to classify CPAL, it would be greatly appreciated! (Note, it claims it is a free software license, but I don't see it on here... unless it is the same thing as "Common Public License"? I don't think so though as CPAL seems more conditional... here's an example of a CPAL for a popular ESB software with a "community" open source version released under CPAL, and an "Enterprise" commercial version: http://www.mulesoft.org/licensing-mule-esb —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bcmoney (talkcontribs) 20:24, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Merge June 2012[edit]

I think List of FSF-approved software licenses should be merged here. In addition, we should merge in the free software section of List of software licenses; there is no reason to maintain this information in 3 places. --KarlB (talk) 18:12, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

I agree entirely. In addition, after merging the useful content from List of software licenses, I would redirect it to Software license. The licenses under "commercial royalty-free" are open source by the common sense definition, and can go in this list. If that bothers anyone this list can be renamed to Comparison of software licenses, but in any case we ought to consolidate these lists into one. – Pnm (talk) 18:29, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

Agreed - maintain in one place only. However "commercial royalty-free" isn't necessarily the same as open source as the source may not be available. Leornian (talk) 22:58, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

Support No brainer, the list is a content fork. Pokajanje|Talk 17:27, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
I just went ahead & did it. Now somebody should unify the tables. Pokajanje|Talk 17:42, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Multiple versions of licenses[edit]

The tables and discussions only include the latest version of a given license - for instance GPLv3. But developers can (and do) use older versions. The GPL is a good example of this - many projects (e.g. Linux) continue to use the older version GPLv2 because they do not like the provisions of the newer one.

I suggest that the article be modified to include older versions that are still in wide use - at a minimum GPLv2.

DEJ — Preceding unsigned comment added by 128.29.43.3 (talk) 17:36, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

SPDX License List[edit]

Should we synchronize the list of licenses in the article with the SPDX License List? --Matthew Raymond (talk) 21:59, 11 March 2014 (UTC)