Open source software is an important paradigm to keep ideas open to the public. But there are several dozens of licensing models that might be used. So first of all developers have to know all possible models, interpret and compare them and finally choose one. Software developers who want to publish their code under an open source license are confronted with a task that usually lawyers are in charge of. However, good advice is expensive.

As a result, only a minority of projects are licensed under an open source license according to a study which was conducted earlier this year by the lawyer Aaron Williamson. Williamson analysed GitHub repositories and found out that out of 1,692,135 code repositories 219,326 of them (14.9 %) were under any open source license. GitHub now addresses this problem. Users — when creating a new repository — are asked to choose a license model. To facilitate the choice of an open source license, there is also a website that gives guidence and examples.

HyperImage — a project of the hybrid publishing lab — which facilitates the linking of (audio)-visual objects, texts and mixed-media documents, is licensed under the open source Apache-2-License (earlier versions use SUN’s CDDL open source license).

Read the whole article on Open Source License Guide For Coders on GitHub

Christian Heise


Research Associate at the Hybrid Publishing Lab and Member of Board of the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany, currently working on his Ph.D thesis about Open Science. More about me...

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