Using Open Source License?

| | August 5, 2015

I am sorry if this question looks really funny, however I can’t help but ask,

Why do we need the use of License for an Open Sourced Project?

Many of the open sourced projects that I have seen clearly state that the code may be modified and redistributed in anyway you may feel and however it is licensed under some license such as MIT / GPL etc.

What I want to know is that if the code is open and the author has freely asked to have his code modified without any worries than how does that License help?

I tried searching the net on this, but majority were giving differences between different types of licenses not why.

Another reason I am asking is because, we are developing our own software and say tomorrow if we decide to release it as an open sourced project, is it mandatory to release it under some license?


2 Responses to “Using Open Source License?”

  1. Christopher Creutzig on November 30, -0001 @ 12:00 AM

    It is not mandatory to release source under some license, and a simple “do with it whatever you want” is a license, if that one meets what you want. But if you do not include a license, then no one except yourself as the author is allowed to use the code or the compiled program, so I guess you really want to have a license in there.

    “This is Open Source” does not make a good license, simply because it does not really say anything at all. There is way too many different interpretations of that term floating around.

  2. Actually it’s not mandatory to include license but it is good to do so. The license usually claim that you can modify the source but cannot remove information about author. This is usefull to build up a reputation in the open source community (and there are companies who select employees based on this).

    Another this are some limitations you might want to add. For instance you might restrict that the application or library is free and open source but only for non-commercial usage.

    The most important thing in open source licenses is a question if the particular license is viral or not. For instance popular GNU GPL claims that if you use library distributed under this license then your application also must be open source.

    For more details and clutches in licenses just read about some popular licenses on Wiki and you’ll get the picture.

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