How to license your code (a plea)

A lot of software out there that admins use, perhaps especially security software, comes with a license – and often not a standard license like the GPL, the BSD license, the Artistic License, or the Mozilla License. In a corporate setting, each of these licenses should be vetted by the corporate legal department before we as admins can use the software.

The more different licenses there are, the more headaches there are for the admins that must get these licenses okayed by the legal department. Possibly the worst is creating one’s own license on the fly, instead of using a commonly used and accepted license.

There are a large number of already accepted licenses; if you use one of these for your software, then admins that want to use the software may find that the license has already been examined and approved. This makes it easier to get the software into corporations. It also means that all of the hard work that lawyers do to get the license crafted just so has already been done for you.

Here is a list of commonly used and accepted licenses:

The Open Source Initiative (or OSI) has a large list of open source licenses.

Why make it hard for software to be adopted for use in corporate environments when you don’t have to? Select a standard license.

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