Thursday, 13 September 2012

Open Source Licencing

I read an open source or permissive licence and propriatary licence agreement. The first being the Open Source Initiative (OSI) Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) 2-Clause License, also known as the Simplified BSD License and FreeBSD License because of it's usage in FreeBSD. The latter licence agreement was Skype's Terms of Use.

I found a few things interesting. The main difference between these licences is that the free one stated what you can do, and if you do such things, what you are required to then do. Skype's licence was more about what you cannot do. However both require the user to waive all liability. The BSD license is similar to other such licenses that I have read, like the MIT License. Basically you can do what ever you want provided you include the license with it.

Skype's terms of service seem to be nothing unusual. Which, in my opinion, is a pretty good thing. I've seen some agreement which state that the company owns anything you do with the service, and licenses which require users to waive their right to class action lawsuits. It was also quite readable and understandable.

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