Examining Open Source Software Licenses through the Creative Commons Licensing Model

Examining Open Source Software Licenses through the Creative Commons Licensing Model

Kwei-Jay Lin (University of California, USA), Yi-Hsuan Lin (Creative Commons Taiwan Project, Taiwan) and Tung-Mei Ko (OSSF Project, Taiwan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-999-1.ch030
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Abstract

In this chapter, the authors present a novel perspective by using the Creative Commons (CC) licensing model to compare 10 commonly used OSS licenses. The authors also propose a license compatibility table to show that whether it is possible to combine OSS with CC-licensed open content in a creative work. By using the CC licensing concept to interpret OSS licenses, the authors hope that users can get a deeper understanding on the ideas and issues behind many of the OSS licenses. In addition, the authors hope that by means of this table, users can make a better decision on the license selection while combining open source with CC-licensed works.

Key Terms in this Chapter

License: It is a legal permission to commit some act.

Copyleft: Copyleft is a kind of licensing mechanism, with which licensees have to apply the same license the original works adopted to the derivative works.

Open Access Publishing: Open access publishing is a kind of publishing model, under which journals open access to the public immediate on publication and usually the authors of the journal articles do not need to pay the page fee for the publication.

Creative Commons Licenses: Creative Commons licenses are a kind of licensing model which applies to open content. Creative Commons licenses are composed by four elements (attribution, noncommercial, no derivatives, and share alike). Creative Commons licenses allow the licensees to make use of CC-licensed works with no need to get prior permission from the licensors as long as the licensees follow the conditions the licensors chose for the works.

Open Content: Open content describes the creative work which allows copying and modifying with no need to get extra permission from the licensors, such as works licensed under Creative Commons licenses.

Open Source Software Licenses: Open source software licenses apply to open source software. Open source software licenses feature that licensees can use, copy, distribute, and modify the regulated software on a royalty-free, worldwide basis.

License Compatibility: It is an abstract idea to illustrate whether two portions of content regulated by two different licenses can be combined within a work compatibly and produce the other resulting work.

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