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Comparison of FOSS licenses?

Kevin

Well-known member
#1
Anybody know of a site that compares the various FOSS licenses against each other? With so many deviations out there it'd be nice to be able to compare them to each other in an easy matrix.
 

MagnusB

Well-known member
#5
Thanks :) In hindsight, I should've guessed Wikipedia would have had something.

What are the the highlights of the CCL terms versus others (aka: what particular do you like it about it versus others)?
What I like is the presentation. It is not four pages of legalese, there are two or three simple statements saying what you can and can't do. Mostly the legal text is hidden for the end user, thus making it very easy to understand. I think that is why I like the beerware as well.

Though most of the FOSS licenses I have actually bothered to read, isn't so hard to comprehend, they are still using a language that is uncommon for most people. However, the big ones like GPL, BSD, Apache, MIT, etc, are all fairly well known, but most people tend to think they equal free reign and no responsibility, which is very far from the truth, especially in terms of GPL, version 3 is by far the worst iteration of that license IMO.
 

Mike54

Active member
#6
I think the mere fact there are licenses involved is the best indication that what we perceive to be 'free' (as in 'freedom') and 'open source' is never actually going to be free. That there are four, distinctly different Creative Commons Licenses is evidence of that.

When it comes down to outright simplicity of understanding, WTFPL is likely leading the pack. But I do think Richard Stallman offers the best definition of what free software needs to be. Freedoms 0 - 3 should be all that is required. Anything else starts looking like restrictions, which means freedom is no longer on the table.
 

MagnusB

Well-known member
#8
I think the mere fact there are licenses involved is the best indication that what we perceive to be 'free' (as in 'freedom') and 'open source' is never actually going to be free. That there are four, distinctly different Creative Commons Licenses is evidence of that.

When it comes down to outright simplicity of understanding, WTFPL is likely leading the pack. But I do think Richard Stallman offers the best definition of what free software needs to be. Freedoms 0 - 3 should be all that is required. Anything else starts looking like restrictions, which means freedom is no longer on the table.
Stallman has become borderline fanatic, if he hasn't always been like that. His stance is that proprietary software is evil and immoral . FSF also recommends that you give away your copyright to them when licensing your software under GPL. I don't disagree with the idea of GPL, but I feel that GPL 3 took a step in the wrong direction. You should check out some of Linus Torvalds comments on GPLv3 and FSF, they make an interesting read. Especially why he doesn't want to license the kernel under v3.


http://www.informationweek.com/the-torvalds-transcript-why-i-absolutely/198002077

I believe that approach to open source is much more practical, rather than the preaching and moralizing from FSF and Stallman.
 

Mike54

Active member
#9
Stallman has become borderline fanatic, if he hasn't always been like that.
I'll not argue that point. I've always felt there is a very fuzzy and very gray line between incredible intelligence and utter lunacy. And I think Stallman is a pretty good example of that.