• I. Intellectual Property
  • II. Free Software
  • III. Open Source
  • IV. Open Content
  • V. Defining Free
  • VI. Defining Open
  • VII. Open Source Software Licenses
  • VIII. Open Content Licenses
  • IX. Open CourseWare
  • X. Open Educational Resources
  • XI. Open Textbooks
  • XII. Research in Open Education
  • XIII. The Economics of Open
  • XIV. Open Business Models
  • Download
  • Translations
  • 22

    Comparison of Open Source Licenses


    There are a wide range of open source / free software licenses which are both popular and widely used. These licenses have much in common but differ from each other in subtle ways.

    Key Points

    License Comparison:

    MIT license BSD License Apache License GNU License
    Popular and widely used: Yes Yes Yes Yes
    License type Permissive Permissive Permissive Strong Copyleft
    Jurisdiction: Not Specified Not Specified Not Specified Not Specified
    Grants patent rights No No Yes No
    Patent retaliation clause No No Yes No
    Specifies enhanced attribution No No No No
    Addresses privacy loophole: No No No No
    Includes ‘no promotion’ feature Yes Yes Yes Yes

    Discussion Questions

    1. Why are there so many types of licenses?
    2. Who governs the licenses?
    3. How can you choose the license type that is best for you?

    Additional Resources

    Free Software Foundation. (2014). gnu.org. Retrieved from https://edtechbooks.org/-eABG

    Berkeley Software Distribution. (2014). Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://edtechbooks.org/-HVhd

    MIT License. (2014). Open Source Initiative. Retrieved from https://edtechbooks.org/-Zxv

    Apache License. (2014). apache.org. Retrieved from https://edtechbooks.org/-EQzq

    License Differentiator. (2014). OSSWATCH. Retrieved from https://edtechbooks.org/-rVCG

    This content is provided to you freely by EdTech Books.

    Access it online or download it at https://openedreader.org/openedreader/open-software-licenses-high-level-comparison-of-open-licenses.