Types of Software Licenses

Software licenses are agreements agreed between the creator of the software, who owns the copyright and intellectual property, and those who will use it. In this contract, the obligations and rights of both will be agreed upon.

Different types of software licenses:

  • Public domain
  •  Permissive licenses
  • LGPL
  • Copyleft licenses
  • Proprietary
  • Debian Licenses
  • General Public Licenses
  • Shareware licenses

There are several types of licenses for software, some of them are:

Debian License: This is an agreement between users and Debian. This is a type of free license, but with certain rules established for its distribution, some of them are: the source code must be contained and it must also be possible to re-share, the freedom to redistribute information, discrimination is prohibited.

Both in the way of using the software or people, these licenses cannot harm other software, among other restrictions. There are other licenses that came out of Debian, an example of Open Source.

Free software (Freeware) : more commonly called free software, these can be used by any user who requires it, they can also redistribute and copy it.

You can do it in its original or modified version, as long as the source code is included. It is important to highlight the free licenses are not synonymous with free since they may be free but paid and vice versa.

General Public License – Also known by its acronym in English, GPL. These licenses follow the information provided by the GPL Project and also various Linux software, the operating system.

These licenses comply with international copyright laws, which guarantees that the software used by general public licenses are legally backed.

Copyleft – This is a version of the copyright. The difference is that the latter does not allow copies or modifications without the author’s permission.

When the Copyleft license is used, copies and alterations are authorized, but not with complete freedom, since they determine certain rules that regulate it.

Public domain software: These types of software are not copyrighted, however changes or copies may not be free if the creator assigns limits when sharing or modifying it.

Berkeley Software Distribution – Better known as BSD. These licenses allow the distribution of some programs such as Berkeley software. They are licenses that do not impose many rules on their users regarding the way of using, distributing and modifying the software. It can even be sold without the source code is included.

Semi-free software: these systems are not free, but they enable other people to use it, share it, alter it and copy it. Some examples are StarOffice, Netscape or the original editions of Internet Explorer.

X Consortium: These licenses allow the distribution of the X Windows System with total freedom, without even using Copyleft. Some of these licenses are free and some are not.

Shareware: this software can be distributed as long as a payment is made for its use. They can usually be altered since the source code is not included.

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