Open Source Online Content Licenses

Open source licenses have been popular with software developers for decades. It basically boils down to a company or (a number of) individual(s) creating a piece of software, and making the source code publicly available to modification and redistribution at no cost. The licenses determine the circumstances in which redistribution and modification is allowed, and sometimes stipulates a set of requirements such as leaving a license notice, a link back to a specific license or the names of all the authors of the original code within new pieces of code that contain all or part of the open source code.

Open source is a philosophical thing too. It helps people create something, and lets other people improve, debug and re-release code, most of the time as long as they themselves allow the same process to continue in the lifecycle of the code. Thanks to the internet and the huge amount of people involved with some of these open source programs, some of them have grown more reliable and popular than commercial software throughout their life. Popular examples on the web are Wordpress, phpBB, PHP, MySQL and Mozilla Firefox.

Open Source content has only recently become very popular. The concepts are the same, but they relate to online content such as photos, articles, blog posts and even video. Wikipedia must be the best example of open source content, and the Wikipedia Copyright statement explains that in detail.

Open Source Initiative The Open Source Initiative runs a list of licenses that have made it through their extremely thorough license review process. It lists some of the great licenses for online content and software.

  • Academic Free License 3.0 (AFL 3.0)
  • Affero GNU Public License
  • Adaptive Public License
  • Apache License, 2.0
  • Apple Public Source License
  • Artistic license 2.0
  • Attribution Assurance Licenses
  • New and Simplified BSD licenses
  • Boost Software License (BSL1.0)
  • Computer Associates Trusted Open Source License 1.1
  • Common Development and Distribution License
  • Common Public Attribution License 1.0 (CPAL)
  • CUA Office Public License Version 1.0
  • EU DataGrid Software License
  • Eclipse Public License
  • Educational Community License, Version 2.0
  • Eiffel Forum License V2.0
  • Entessa Public License
  • European Union Public License (link to every language's version on their site)
  • Fair License
  • Frameworx License
  • GNU General Public License (GPL)
  • GNU General Public License version 3.0 (GPLv3)
  • GNU Library or "Lesser" General Public License (LGPL)
  • GNU Library or "Lesser" General Public License version 3.0 (LGPLv3)
  • Historical Permission Notice and Disclaimer
  • IBM Public License
  • IPA Font License
  • ISC License
  • Lucent Public License Version 1.02
  • MirOS Licence
  • Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL)
  • Microsoft Reciprocal License (Ms-RL)
  • MIT license
  • Motosoto License
  • Mozilla Public License 1.1 (MPL)
  • Multics License
  • NASA Open Source Agreement 1.3
  • NTP License
  • Naumen Public License
  • Nethack General Public License
  • Nokia Open Source License
  • Non-Profit Open Software License 3.0 (Non-Profit OSL 3.0)
  • OCLC Research Public License 2.0
  • Open Font License 1.1 (OFL 1.1)
  • Open Group Test Suite License
  • Open Software License 3.0 (OSL 3.0)
  • PHP License
  • Python license (CNRI Python License)
  • Python Software Foundation License
  • Qt Public License (QPL)
  • RealNetworks Public Source License V1.0
  • Reciprocal Public License 1.5 (RPL1.5)
  • Ricoh Source Code Public License
  • Simple Public License 2.0
  • Sleepycat License
  • Sun Public License
  • Sybase Open Watcom Public License 1.0
  • University of Illinois/NCSA Open Source License
  • Vovida Software License v. 1.0
  • W3C License
  • wxWindows Library License
  • X.Net License
  • Zope Public License
  • zlib/libpng license

The full list and a load of background information on each of these can be found on the Open Source Initiative web site.

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