What is FOSS Licenses-Apache, BSD, GPL, LGPL Explained

What is FOSS Licenses-Apache, BSD, GPL, LGPL Explained

In legal theory, a license is the permission or rights granted to engage in some act without it the act might be unlawful.
A license must be granted by a person, government or an institution that has legal authority and rights.
LICENSE” also refers to description permission and rights.

                           What is FOSS LICENSE?

We know every day many software released, to maintain the copyrights and patents of the software this license used under some condition.
In today’s world there are many open source license, some of the famous or important licenses are :

  1. APACHE LICENSE
  2. BSD LICENSE
  3. GPL LICENSE
  4. LGPL LICENSE

     FOR MORE:-      Free Software License Provider – MIT License, Apache License 2019 

    APACHE LICENSE

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) is a non-profit corporation to support Apache software projects.ASF’s objective is to provide legal protection to volunteers working on the Apache project and to protect the Apache brand name from being used by other organization.
There are two types of Apache version, version 1.1 and 2.0. While in the current market, version 2.0 is considered by ASF as a current version and most users happily switched to it.

The ASF was formed from the Apache group and incorporated on March 25, 1999.
Code under Apache license can be linked with the proprietary code that is developed in the companies. Because of these reasons, companies are accepting this license
So companies time to time contribute to the code under Apache license to boost the activity of these project.
IBM and INTEL have contributed a big part of the alternative java implementation to the Apache Harmony project.
ALSO READ: What is Free and Open Source Software-FOSS

                                             BSD

                   (BERKELEY SOFTWARE DISTRIBUTION)

BSD is both license and a class of license.BSD license is a very simple license that requires that all the code licensed under the BSD licensed.BSD, unlike other licenses, does not require that source code be distributed at all.
KEN THOMPSON founded BSD.
BSD is very close to a public domain license. Like in BSD like licenses which permit FREE MODIFICATION and DISTRIBUTION of the work.
There are two significant ways in which BSD differs from PUBLIC DOMAIN LICENSE.
First, the BSD license carries the requirement that the license, along with it’s a statement of copyright, should present in the work, or modified copies.
Second, the BSD-like licences have a standard disclaimer of guarantees.
For those who are opposed to the GPL license for its limitations on modification and distribution, the BSD LICENCE is quite acceptable.
BSD is usually accepted inside the companies. The APPLE MAC OS is based on the originally BSD-LICENSED operating system but with a big part of the proprietary code.
ALSO READ: What is Open Source software vs Proprietary Software/closed source software

                                               GPL LICENSE

The GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE is a free software license, created by the FREE SOFTWARE FOUNDATION(FSF); it is generally abbreviated to GNU GPL or simply GPL.
The GPL protects the main articles of software freedom are :

  • FREEDOM TO USE
  • FREEDOM TO MODIFY
  • FREEDOM TO DISTRIBUTE

Because of this many company managers do not like, because they want proprietary control on all code that was written in the company.
Even if the software is for internal use only and is never sold, the managers still want proprietary control to be sure that the software will not be used by the other company.
It is not true that GPL is never used inside the companies, many companies have used software libraries under this license and did release all codes that interact with these libraries, as a license required.
From the other hand, it is possible to say that GPL is tuned to support and even enforce the code sharing as much as possible. Companies and individuals that write code and release it under GPL get access to many existing codes under GPL. Also, GNU GCC compiler has got C++ support.
It is also true that GPL seems one of the most used licenses in today’s world.
However many companies owner first try to get this license or asking to sell the “commercial” license.
ALSO READ: What is Android Operating System?

                                        LGPL LICENSE

                               ( LESSER GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE)

GPL LICENCE requires that only GPL code can link to the GPL libraries, even if the library is contained in a separate file. This seems too strict to use a library. To overcome this restriction, LGPL is created.LGPL fixes precisely this problem of the library.
If someone uses an LGPL work as a library which is symbolically linked with a project, the rest of the project does not have to be put under the LGPL. If any modification made in the LGPL work it must be made it public, similar to the rule of GPL.

Initially, it was considered as a “LIBRARY” license, but the GNU Foundation describes this as the “LESSER” GPL , Since it gives more protection to the work than the GPL does.
LGPL makes a clear difference between the codes that have been covered by the license and the external code that is just linked to the  LGPL covered code. The external code can stay proprietary. However, modification inside the LGPL license must be shared with the public.
Companies usually find  LGPL terms acceptable. It is easy to find public libraries with this license.

ALSO READ: What is Containerization? Advantages and Disadvantages

Thank you.

A similar topic we land soon on my site.

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