I know... probably gonna start a flame war or something... but I'm curious...
This question is mostly aimed at people that develop "free" applications for Linux/Unix...
What is your preferred license? I'm wondering which one to use...
BSD seems nice
GPL seems a little too restrictive
Apache is confusing
I'd just like some input to see what weould be the best license to choose for my software...
BTW, there's also LGPL which is less restrictive than GPL.
1 concern that I have is: what can happen if I opt to use the standard GPL licensing?
Can I still claim "I wrote that program" or does it then belong to the world and I have no saying in the matter?
I've always stayed away from licensing discussions because they just confuse me too much... not to fond of legal talks... but I guess if I start developing apps, I have no choice right?
You still own your software if you GPL it. You can even change the license in the future if you like and sell it for profit. If you do that though, you have to remove all patches that were written by other people.
I prefer the Apache license because its easy to read. 8)
You might be interested in the Creative Commons GPL:
As I understand it, its like the GPL, but its licensed Creative Commons. It also provides a human readable format, which might be exactly what you're looking for.
Someone said: BSD gives more freedom, GPL ensures the preservation and spread of freedom. Something like that.
If you want as wide use of your sw as possible, choose BSD or at least LGPL.
If you dislike the idea that some git might use your free work and legally make profit from your free gift to the world, choose GPL.
Long time ago I used to think of GPL as of a license that gives a decent man all the freedom he needs and BSD offers only the additional freedom for "thieves" to profit from other people's work.
Then I grew up Now I prefer BSD or LGPL license to GPL. That also applies for other sw (libs) that I use with my own sw, because I develop also some proprietary sw at job. If I used some GPL libs in my free sw and at some later time wanted to write some similar proprietary sw, I'd have to rewrite more of the code and include some other (BSD or similarly licensed) libs, so that would mean more work.
That's where is starts giving me headaches
Stuff like QT, where if you decide to sell your application, you have to buy a Qt license, that gives you nothing more in functionality, but if then the same app is free, the source is available, and it's GPL, then you don't need to buy anything... wtf?
In a way, Trolltech makes some sense. They charge only from those who are supposed to earn some money from their QT based project. But their prices are ridiculously high.
... you have to buy a Qt license, that gives you nothing more in functionality ...
There are more different licenses, I think only the cheapest one gives you the same funcionality as the free one. Or even the cheapest one has some additional things.
I also wanted to use Qt, even learned some basics, but when we more closely looked at the prices, this idea was quickly abandoned. Even much more known Borland has much cheaper products.
how does GTK compare to Qt in terms of licensing though?
GTK+ is free software and part of the GNU Project. However, the licensing terms for GTK+, the GNU LGPL, allow it to be used by all developers, including those developing proprietary software, without any license fees or royalties.
Qt can be, as you know, used for free only for free open source projects.
Well, I don't know what software you are writing, but if you're intent is to make it a future industry standard or equally shareable with "non-free" software, I would suggest the LPGL.
If potential commercial possibilities is your real goal, while maintaining an Open Source model, I would use the CPL from IBM. Eclipse does...
Outside of that, the GPL...
and, outside of that, the INALL. It's the one I use. The "I'm Not A Lawyer License". It basically means I'm a dumb programmer and chances are my hard work will be ripped and used by others anyway...so what's the point.
I like the GPL license.
BSD license - Yin-only - total freedom to do whatever you wish.
Proprietary - Yang-only - totally no freedom.
GPL license - Yin/yang - freedom to use, modify, and distribute.
no freedom to take anything away from others(distributing without source code, instructions on the license, etc.).