A software license is a legitimate appliance that permits a customer or purchaser to use, reuse or circulate the software in their business. The specific software license agreement describes the correct utilization way of software or product to the end-user, which means the software licensing will basically define How, When, What and How to use the specific product at your need. The fundamental principle of licensing is to provide security to shield the creative works of any creator or organization. Before installing any application, it should be officially licensed.
Every beginner should have knowledge of some basics points about the software licensing which will help them to get the idea and techniques to manage and optimize the software license.
Listed below are some of the most basic and crucial points about the software licensing which every beginner should recognize and be aware of. So, we will start with the origin:-
What is Software Licensing?
The software we make as per our or our client’s requirement is very important for us because we invest our idea, effort, time and money in it, so it’s our duty to secure that software from others who can misuse it. Today’s business relies on the software because it performs very essential operations for them. So, Software licensing is a contract between the owner of a software product or program and the customer that allows doing certain things like where, how and how many times one can install the software & program. Also, defines the ability for duplication, modification, and redistribution of the software, etc. Although, the content of the licensing depends on the facilities and services provided by the companies and it can be different from each other which will totally depend on the company’s agreement.
For the security of the software’s code, it’s important to understand the software licenses before using any code that you didn’t write your own self.
Difference between the open-source and proprietary (Closed- source) licenses:
Software licensing has two different licensing models first is open-source and the second is the closed source which is also knownas the proprietary licenses.
An open-source license is a license that refers to the software whose base code is accessible by anybody and they can easily share and do modification in it as per their requirement under defined terms and conditions. An open-source license authorizes for a software product to be distributed in a specific approach, for any type of communal research or development. In general, open-source licensing permits the source code of a project to be open or transparent, employed by third parties, altered or manipulated by members of a developer group.
While proprietary software refers to the software which is exclusively owned by any specific person or developer who developed it. Only those people will only be able to access, duplicate, and change that software. In closed source, source code is not distributed with the public for review and doing changes. Open Source software can be downloaded and installed multiple times and on multiple devices, whenever consumers want. They can also redistribute it as per their need without any rebound.
Types of license under Open- source license:
In an open-source license, four types of licenses are found which permit you to reuse the code and program in some fixed scope. Let’s go through all four types of license which comes under open-source license:
1. Public Domain License:
Public domain license is the non-restrictive license which easily gives permission to anyone for use of the software. This means anyone can easily see, modify and do changes in the software as per their demand. The public domain license concept is not specified in the same way everywhere so you should be careful at the time of utilization because it increases the risk of your codebase.
2. Permissive Software License:
A permissive license is also known as the (Berkeley Software Distribution) BSD-like license which is the easiest and fundamental type of open source license. A permissive license allows doing anything with the software as long as you stand with the notice requirements. These licenses provide the software with no warranties and securities. So, in brief, a permissive license is a license that permits the user to do whatever they want to do with code with their own risk.
3. CopyLeft License:
A Copyleft license offers a process of modification to the software or code distributes it back to the group and makes remains the same. Rather than restrict the freedoms of using the creative works, Copyleft license provides surety to the user to maintain the freedom to use, modify, extend and redistribute a creative, productive and innovative work. It will allow you to change the licensed code and circulate the new works based on it under the same software license. In this case, you will have to make sure that your source code is always ready as it gives permission to any end-user for code modification. GPL and LGPL is the most known example of this license.
4. LGPL License:
LGPL is the license that involves some open source software that describes the way of freely copy, distribution and modification of the software and its joined source code. A Lesser General Public License is applied in both software, so it can be integrated into both free software and proprietary software. It allows the user to connect with open source libraries.
Installation of the software license:
The installation or activation process of every software license differs from product to product. Most of the time you will get a properly described and defined step by step list of software license installation. In which every step will be defined very openly so that no one gets stuck at any point. While getting the idea about the installation process one should also be familiarized with the deactivation process so that you can protect your license and money. Sometimes, we have to change our device for some reason and start working on another computer, during that time the deactivation process will be helpful. Some software provides a license key which is used at some point in the installation process, so you should also take care of the license key.
As stated before, the proprietary or closed-source software license’s agreement restricts the use, alteration, modification and redistribution ability. Also, it would not allow access to the underlying source code. But open-source software license does not do the same.
In the end, you should always keep and maintain the software license documentation which consists of different type of important details like license key, software name, it’s version and many other things which can be asked in any situation or any time.