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Which licensing model for a "free to use" application?

Doug Otto (2821601) writes | about a year ago

1

Doug Otto (2821601) writes "I work for a small defense contractor. We provide long range cameras and control systems to the military. We've developed an application to aid in configuration and maintenance of these systems that we'd like to distribute with the camera systems. The idea is to provide the application with a "free to use and distribute" license that doesn't give up ownership. Any thoughts?"

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1 comment

Bruce Perens (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about a year ago | (#43342497)

Bruce Perens has an opinion : http://www.datamation.com/osrc/article.php/3803101/Bruce-Perens-How-Many-Open-Source-Licenses-Do-You-Need.htm [datamation.com]

TLDR?

You don't give up ownership of your code when you release it under any OSI license. Because you are the copyright holder, you retain all your rights, including the right to release it under another license.

Most companies seem to prefer BSD-style licenses like Apache 2, so if the participation of other corporations in your software project is key, you may want to use them. If not, GPL is fine - not only does it provide an open-source license, it will prevent your competitors tweaking your code and selling it on as a closed-source product. Ignore the crap about it being viral - for your own code, as I state above, you retain the right to re-license it however you want.

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