FLOSS Legal and Engineering Terms and a License Taxonomy

FLOSS Legal and Engineering Terms and a License Taxonomy

Darren Skidmore (Monash University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-999-1.ch031
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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.

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