This chapter introduces the reader to terms relevant to understanding free/libre and open source licenses, some of the relevant legal, and relevant software engineering terms that are useful in understanding the issues in FLOSS. Then a brief history of FLOSS licenses is given before introducing a taxonomy to help understand the types of licenses which are available in the FLOSS domain. A brief description to think about differing views of the usage and users of FLOSS is given in conclusion.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Quasi Open Source Licenses: These are the obligation, morality, viewable source, and membership licenses.
Traditional Open Source Licenses: These are the reciprocal, non-reciprocal, linking, and dual licenses.
GNU GPL: Primary open source license, GNU means Gnu is Non-Unix . The GNU is a recursive software programmers joke. The GPL is the general public license, which is the legal means of the FSF’s philosoply of CopyLeft.
Open Source Support Licenes: These are the content and open standards licenses.