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NewsForge: Choosing an Open Source License

Jul 27, 2004, 13:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Mary E. Tyler)

"The Open Source Initiative (OSI) lists more than 50 approved open source licenses. Each license is anywhere from slightly to vastly unlike its neighbors. All of them are written for lawyers, not mere mortal software developers. So how do you choose the most sensible an open source license for your projects?

"There isn't one answer for all open source projects, according to Lawrence Rosen, the founding partner of Rosenlaw and Einschlag, general counsel for OSI and author of a new book Open Source Licensing: Software Freedom and Intellectual Property Law. 'I say, 'Tell me about your software.' There are companies that want to open source some of their [code] and not all of it,' says Rosen. In order to advise them, 'I have to understand what their product is...'"

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