There are many types of software licenses with different terms, support contracts, limitations, and costs. Users should understand the fundamentals of software licensing to ensure a complete understanding of responsibilities and compliance with legal requirements and restrictions. The GPL is a general public license and the most widely used type of free software license on the market today. The terms of this license are restrictive – known as mutual licenses. Under the terms of a copyleft license, licensed code can be modified or distributed as part of a software project if the new code is distributed under the same software license. There are five main categories or types of software licenses that are used to cover different types of software and different business agreements. These cover a wide range of licensing scenarios, from free software (public domain) to paid commercial software (proprietary). Since the original software included in the new project allowed modification and distribution, this may not be the best license for software developers, as the resulting code must also carry the copyleft license type – including source code availability. Derivative works of this type of license may only be distributed under the same license terms as the original.
Additional use of software licenses occurs in cases where a software developer or company grants permission to sell or distribute the software under the second-party trademark. The developer retains ownership, but the rebranding company is allowed to resell the software product. This method of licensing is called “white labeling”. The primary purpose of an End User License Agreement is to give the buyer or user the right to use the App. For this reason, each EULA must contain a section explicitly stating that a license is granted. This type of license is one of the most common and popular among open source software licenses. Under a permissive license, also known as “Apache” or “BSD style”, there are few restrictions or requirements for distributing or modifying the software. Another variant of a permissive software license is the “MIT” license. The term “Creative Commons” software license is derived from the name of a non-profit organization based in Mountain View, California, USA.
The Creative Commons organization is dedicated to expanding the range of creative works available for other users to legally develop and share. They have actually released several different copyright licenses, known as Creative Commons licenses, all of which are freely available to the public. Commercial or exclusive. Of all the types of software licenses, these tend to be the most restrictive. These licenses are typically used for commercial software when the copyright holder asserts express terms regarding the rights granted and, for example, does not want the code to be shared, boned, modified, redistributed or sold. The software also comes with a license key or product key. The key is used to identify and verify the specific version of the software. It is also used to activate the software on a specific computer or device. Developers release software for a number of reasons, whether to demonstrate a new idea, to benefit as many people as possible, or to gain financial and economic gain.
This approach is considered the traditional way of owning software – buying the license in advance and acquiring the rights to use the software indefinitely. This type of purchase agreement is called a perpetual license. Two common categories of copyright, and therefore licenses that grant certain rights to licensees, are proprietary software and free and open source software (FOSS). The main conceptual difference between the two is the granting of rights to modify and reuse a software product purchased by a customer: free and open source software licenses both rights to the customer and thus bundles the modifiable source code with the software (“open source”), while proprietary software generally does not license these rights and therefore keeps the source code hidden (“closed source”). Licensing costs are often based on the number of users and devices using the software. They may also depend on how the software is deployed. Costs can increase with add-ons, upgrades, maintenance fees, and other fees. Depending on these factors, software license costs can range from free or almost free to several thousand dollars. Public domain.
Some software is in the public domain. In general, software works are protected by copyright, which means that the use of the software somehow requires the permission of the author or copyright holder, i.e. a license. However, copyright does not apply to public domain works – anyone can modify and use this software without restrictions. However, you should be aware that the public domain code is rare and the definition varies by jurisdiction. The most commonly used type of license is the End User License Agreement (EULA) – it`s used for all paid software used on PC, and is probably the model adopted by small businesses and new startups. Each new copy of software installed has its own license code, whether previously installed or not.