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Understanding Open Source Licensing

Feb 02, 2012, 03:17 (0 Talkback[s])

"Arguably, the prime reason why developers tend to opt for open source licenses is that it lets their software roll on as a group or community exercise, and this in turn enhances productivity manifolds. For instance, Acquia Network, the parent organization behind Drupal, currently consists of 160 employees. Obviously, a company of that size cannot sustain a mammoth project such as Drupal. However, Drupal itself being open source, is helped by the numerous volunteers from the community. Similarly, WordPress rides the wagon of a super-active community while its parent organization, Automattic, concentrates on select issues.

"Open source licenses nowadays come in multiple versions. Wikipedia has a rather incomplete list of some of the major free licenses at While all such licenses cater to diverse purposes with the same goal ('freedom'), we shall restrict ourselves to only the major ones for the sake of simplicity. From a small/medium enterprise's point of view, the noteworthy licenses include GPL/LGPL, MPL, Apache License and BSD License."

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