How to pick an open-source software license.

Arnoud Engelfriet galactus at
Wed Mar 9 21:07:32 UTC 2005

Forrest J. Cavalier III wrote:
> Picking a license for new code is easy if you follow this advice:

In addition, make sure you understand the implications of the license
and what other people may want to do with the code. Licensing it
as GPL makes it a lot easier to integrate in other projects than
if you license it as OSL, for instance.

And for simple things I personally prefer the MIT/X11 license.

> My take is that corporate lawyers are good for consultations.  But watch
> them very, very carefully if they attempt to do anything original.  

A license isn't one of those "ok we're done, slap a sticker on it
and let's ship" items. It's part of the strategy of what you want
to achieve with the code. And that requires interaction between
the business and the legal people. 

Usually there's no need to write a new license, I agree with you there.
If you're going that way, you probably didn't mean to make the
software open source.


Arnoud Engelfriet, Dutch patent attorney - Speaking only for myself
Patents, copyright and IPR explained for techies:

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