Software Licensing 101
In my firm Vishwak Solutions we conduct periodic programs on various topics for self-improvement, health, technology & productivity. Last month we began a pilot program called “Vishwak360” the objective of which is to expose everyone in the organization to every department & its function – to give a 360 view of what’s happenings. I delivered the first talk and I spoke on Software Licensing – probably the driest subject, when selecting the topic I decided if I can get the audience interested through this then all the subsequent talks are going to be lively & enjoyable.
Over the years software licensing has become very complex and it need not be so. To navigate this jungle you need to understand why it originated, what is IPR (Intellectual Property Rights), different forms of IPR (Trademark, Copyright, Patent), Enforcement & finally different types of software licensing.
There is a place for both commercial licenses like Microsoft Windows & Free Licenses in OSS. Two great references for reading more on the subject is Wikipedia and Open Source.ORG. There is a Plain-English speak version of Windows XP EULA here, which is easier to understand.