List of software licenses in Pisi Linux

Here become you an Overview about the Licenses in Pisi Linux Packages. When you build Pisi Packages you must write in each Package, what you build the License. On this page become you Information what for a Type of License you have and what are the Terms for it. Not all Licenses list here. For more Information go to the bottom of this Page to the References, there found you any Links with further Information about Licenses.
In computing, software that is copyrighted and licensed under a software license is done under a variety of licensing schemes. For end-users there are various licenses ranging from very restrictive proprietary licenses to open-source licenses.

There are also different licensing schemes for access to and use of source code. To address special intellectual property issues regarding source code, open-source licenses, and special licenses, such as copyleft, have been created.

Not all software is licensed, or even copyrighted, and this article is thus not an exhaustive list of the terms under which software is available in the market. Software may be published without an accompanying license, as License-Free Software, in which case it remains copyrighted, its distribution is subject to ordinary copyright law, and its sale is subject to ordinary sales law. In some countries, software may also be released to the public domain, in which case it is not copyrighted and the notion of a copyright license simply does not apply at all (although the other parts of a software licence, including warranty provisions, will still apply to the sale of such software).

GNU General Public License

The GNU General Public License (GNU GPL or GPL) is the most widely used free software license, which guarantees end users (individuals, organizations, companies) the freedoms to use, study, share (copy), and modify the software. Software that allows these rights is called free software and if the software is copyleft ensures those are retained. The GPL demands both. The license was originally written by Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) for the GNU project.

In other words, the GPL grants the recipients of a computer program the rights of the Free Software Definition[6] and uses copyleft to ensure the freedoms are preserved whenever the work is distributed, even when the work is changed or added to. The GPL is a copyleft license, which means that derived works can only be distributed under the same license terms. This is in distinction to permissive free software licenses, of which the BSD licenses and the MIT License are the standard examples. GPL was the first copyleft license for general use.

Version 1

Version 1 of the GNU GPL, released on 25 February 1989, prevented what were then the two main ways that software distributors restricted the freedoms that define free software. The first problem was that distributors may publish binary files only—executable, but not readable or modifiable by humans. To prevent this, GPLv1 said that any vendor distributing binaries must also make the human-readable source code available under the same licensing terms (Sections 3a and 3b of the license).

The second problem was the distributors might add additional restrictions, either by adding restrictions to the license, or by combining the software with other software which had other restrictions on its distribution. If this was done, then the union of the two sets of restrictions would apply to the combined work, thus unacceptable restrictions could be added. To prevent this, GPLv1 said that modified versions, as a whole, had to be distributed under the terms in GPLv1 (Sections 2b and 4 of the license). Therefore, software distributed under the terms of GPLv1 could be combined with software under more permissive terms, as this would not change the terms under which the whole could be distributed, but software distributed under GPLv1 could not be combined with software distributed under a more restrictive license, as this would conflict with the requirement that the whole be distributable under the terms of GPLv1.

Version 2

According to Richard Stallman, the major change in GPLv2 was the “Liberty or Death” clause, as he calls it — Section 7. This section says that if somebody has restrictions imposed that prevent him or her from distributing GPL-covered software in a way that respects other users’ freedom (for example, if a legal ruling states that he or she can only distribute the software in binary form), he or she cannot distribute it at all. The hope is, that this will make it less tempting for companies to use patent threats to require a fee from the free software developers.

By 1990, it was becoming apparent that a less restrictive license would be strategically useful for the C library and for software libraries that essentially did the job of existing proprietary ones; when version 2 of the GPL (GPLv2) was released in June 1991, therefore, a second license — the Library General Public License — was introduced at the same time and numbered with version 2 to show that both were complementary. The version numbers diverged in 1999 when version 2.1 of the LGPL was released, which renamed it the GNU Lesser General Public License to reflect its place in the philosophy.

Version 3

In late 2005, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) announced work on version 3 of the GPL (GPLv3). On 16 January 2006, the first “discussion draft” of GPLv3 was published, and the public consultation began. The public consultation was originally planned for nine to fifteen months but finally stretched to eighteen months with four drafts being published. The official GPLv3 was released by FSF on 29 June 2007. GPLv3 was written by Richard Stallman, with legal counsel from Eben Moglen and the Software Freedom Law Center. According to Stallman, the most important changes are in relation to software patents, free software license compatibility, the definition of “source code”, and hardware restrictions on software modification (“tivoization”).[20][21] Other changes relate to internationalization, how license violations are handled, and how additional permissions can be granted by the copyright holder.

It also adds a provision that ‘strips’ DRM of its legal value, so people can break the DRM on GPL software without breaking laws like the DMCA. The public consultation process was coordinated by the Free Software Foundation with assistance from Software Freedom Law Center, Free Software Foundation Europe,[23] and other free software groups. Comments were collected from the public via the web portal. That portal runs purpose-written software called stet. During the public consultation process, 962 comments were submitted for the first draft.[25] By the end, a total of 2,636 comments had been submitted. The third draft was released on 28 March 2007. This draft included language intended to prevent patent-related agreements like the controversial Microsoft-Novell patent agreement and restricts the anti-tivoization clauses to a legal definition of a “User” or “consumer product”. It also explicitly removed the section on “Geographical Limitations”, whose probable removal had been announced at the launch of the public consultation.

The fourth discussion draft, which was the last, was released on 31 May 2007. It introduced Apache License compatibility, clarified the role of outside contractors, and made an exception to avoid the perceived problems of a Microsoft–Novell style agreement, saying in Section 11 paragraph 6 that

You may not convey a covered work if you are a party to an arrangement with a third party that is in the business of distributing software, under which you make payment to the third party based on the extent of your activity of conveying the work, and under which the third party grants, to any of the parties who would receive the covered work from you, a discriminatory patent license […]

This aims to make future such deals ineffective. The license is also meant to cause Microsoft to extend the patent licenses it grants to Novell customers for the use of GPLv3 software to all users of that GPLv3 software; this is possible only if Microsoft is legally a “conveyor” of the GPLv3 software. Also, early drafts of GPLv3 allowed licensors to add an Affero-like requirement which would have plugged the ASP loophole in the GPL. As there were concerns expressed about the administrative costs of checking code for this additional requirement, it was decided to keep the GPL and the Affero license separated. Others, notably some high-profile developers of the Linux kernel, commented to the mass media and made public statements about their objections to parts of discussion drafts 1 and 2.

GPLv3 improves compatibility with several open source software licenses such as Apache License, version 2.0, and the GNU Affero General Public License which GPLv2 could not be combined with, but GPLv3 software can only be combined with GPLv2 software if the GPLv2 version has the optional “or later” clause of the GPL. “GPLv2 or any later version” is considered by FSF as the most common form of licensing GPLv2 software while for example Toybox developer Rob Landley described it as a lifeboat clause. Software projects which are licensed with the optional “or later” clause include the GNU Project, while a prominent example without the clause is the Linux kernel. The final version of the license text was published on 29 June 2007.

Common Public License

In computing, the CPL (“Common Public License”) is a free software / open-source software license published by IBM. The Free Software Foundation and Open Source Initiative have approved the license terms of the CPL.


The CPL has the stated aims of supporting and encouraging collaborative open-source development while still retaining the ability to use the CPL’d content with software licensed under other licenses, including many proprietary licenses. The Eclipse Public License (EPL) consists of a slightly modified version of the CPL. The CPL has some terms that resemble those of the GNU General Public License (GPL), but some key differences exist. A similarity relates to distribution of a modified computer program: under either license (CPL or GPL), one must make the source code of a modified program available to others.

CPL, like the GNU Lesser General Public License, allows non-CPL-licensed software to link to a library under CPL without requiring the linked source code to be made available to the licensee. CPL lacks compatibility with both versions of the GPL because it has a “choice of law” section in section 7, which restricts legal disputes to a certain court. Another source of incompatibility is the different copyleft requirements. To reduce the number of open source licenses, IBM and Eclipse Foundation agreed upon using solely the Eclipse Public License in the future. Open Source Initiative therefore lists the Common Public License as deprecated and superseded by EPL.

Eclipse Public License

The Eclipse Public License (EPL) is an open source software license used by the Eclipse Foundation for its software. It replaces the Common Public License (CPL) and removes certain terms relating to litigations related to patents. The Eclipse Public License is designed to be a business-friendly free software license and features weaker copyleft provisions than contemporary licenses such as the GNU General Public License (GPL). The receiver of EPL-licensed programs can use, modify, copy and distribute the work and modified versions, in some cases being obligated to release their own changes.

The EPL is approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) and is listed as a free software license by the Free Software Foundation (FSF). Discussion of a new version of the EPL began in May, 2013.


The EPL 1.0 is not compatible with the GPL, and a work created by combining a work licensed under the GPL with a work licensed under the EPL cannot be lawfully distributed. The GPL requires that “[any distributed work] that … contains or is derived from the [GPL-licensed] Program … be licensed as a whole … under the terms of [the GPL]”, and that the distributor not “impose any further restrictions on the recipients’ exercise of the rights granted”. The EPL, however, requires that anyone distributing the work grant every recipient a license to any patents that they might hold that cover the modifications they have made. Because this is a “further restriction” on the recipients, distribution of such a combined work does not satisfy the GPL.

The EPL, in addition, contains a patent retaliation clause, which is incompatible with the GPL for the same reasons.

Comparison with the CPL

The EPL was based on the CPL (Common Public License),[9] but there are some differences between the two licenses:

  • The Eclipse Foundation replaces IBM as the Agreement Steward in the EPL
  • The EPL patent clause is revised GNU General Public Licenseby deleting the sentence from section 7 of the CPL
  • A clause contained within the CPL allows for developers to migrate software under the terms of the CPL to the terms of the EPL at any time, similar to how users of the GPL version 2 can migrate to the GPL version 3.

MIT License

The MIT License is a free software license originating at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It is a permissive free software license, meaning that it permits reuse within proprietary software provided all copies of the licensed software include a copy of the MIT License terms. Such proprietary software retains its proprietary nature even though it incorporates software under the MIT License. The license is also GPL-compatible, meaning that the GPL permits combination and redistribution with software that uses the MIT License.

Notable software packages that use one of the versions of the MIT License include Expat, the Mono development platform class libraries, Ruby on Rails, Lua (from version 5.0 onwards), OGRE (from version 1.7 onwards)[importance?], Wayland and the X Window System, for which the license was written.

Various versions

Because MIT has used many licenses for software, “MIT License” is considered ambiguous by the Free Software Foundation. “MIT License” may refer to the “Expat License” (used for Expat)[2] or to the “X11 License” (also called “MIT/X Consortium License”; used for the X Window System by the MIT X Consortium). The “MIT License” published on the official site of Open Source Initiative is the same as the “Expat License”.

Differing from the Expat License,[2] the X11 License and the “MIT License” chosen for ncurses by the Free Software Foundation include the clause:

Except as contained in this notice, the name(s) of the above copyright holders shall not be used in advertising or otherwise to promote the sale, use or other dealings in this Software without prior written authorization.

Comparison to other licenses

The MIT License is similar to the 3-clause “modified” BSD license, except that the BSD license contains a notice prohibiting the use of the name of the copyright holder in promotion. This is sometimes present in versions of the MIT License, as noted above. The original BSD license also includes a clause requiring all advertising of the software to display a notice crediting its authors. This “advertising clause” (since disavowed by UC Berkeley) is present in the modified MIT License used by XFree86.

The MIT License states more explicitly the rights given to the end-user, including the right to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell the software. The Simplified BSD license used by FreeBSD is essentially identical to the MIT License, as it contains neither an advertising clause, nor a prohibition on promotional use of the copyright holder’s name.

Also similar in terms is the ISC license, which has a simpler language. The University of Illinois/NCSA Open Source License combines text from both the MIT and BSD licenses; the license grant and disclaimer are taken from the MIT License.

BSD licenses

BSD licenses are a family of permissive free software licenses, imposing minimal restrictions on the redistribution of covered software. This is in contrast to copyleft licenses, which have reciprocity share-alike requirements. The original BSD license was used for its namesake, the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD), a Unix-like operating system. The original version has since been revised and its descendants are more properly termed modified BSD licenses. Two variants of the license, the New BSD License/Modified BSD License (3-clause), and the Simplified BSD License/FreeBSD License (2-clause) have been verified as GPL-compatible free software licenses by the Free Software Foundation, and have been vetted as open source licenses by the Open Source Initiative, while the original, 4-clause license has not been accepted as an open source license and, although the original is considered to be a free software license by the FSF, the FSF does not consider it to be compatible with the GPL due to the advertising clause.


Besides the original license used in BSD, there are several derivative licenses that are commonly referred to as a “BSD license”. Today, the typical BSD license is the 3-clause version, which is revised from the original 4-clause version.

Note that: In all BSD licences as following, <organization> is the organization of the <copyright holder> or just the <copyright holder>, and <year> is the year of the copyright. As published in BSD, <copyright holder> is “Regents of the University of California”, and <organization> is “University of California, Berkeley”.

Creative Commons license

A Creative Commons (CC) license is one of several public copyright licenses that enable the free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted work. A CC license is used when an author wants to give people the right to share, use and build upon a work that they have created. CC provides an author flexibility (for example, they might choose to allow only non-commercial uses of their own work) and protects the people who use or redistribute an author’s work, so they don’t have to worry about copyright infringement, as long as they abide by the conditions that are specified in the license by which the author distributes the work.

There are several types of CC licenses. The licenses differ by several combinations that condition the terms of distribution. They were initially released on December 16, 2002 by Creative Commons, a U.S. non-profit corporation founded in 2001.

Applicable works

Work licensed under a Creative Commons license is governed by applicable copyright law. This allows Creative Commons licenses to be applied to all work falling under copyright, including: books, plays, movies, music, articles, photographs, blogs, and websites. Creative Commons does not recommend the use of Creative Commons licenses for software. However, application of a Creative Commons license may not modify the rights allowed by fair use or fair dealing or exert restrictions which violate copyright exceptions. Furthermore, Creative Commons licenses are non-exclusive and non-revocable. Any work or copies of the work obtained under a Creative Commons license may continue to be used under that license. In the case of works protected by multiple Creative Common licenses, the user may choose either.

Types of licenses

The CC licenses all grant the “baseline rights”, such as the right to distribute the copyrighted work worldwide, without changes, at no charge. The details of each of these licenses depends on the version, and comprises a selection of four conditions:

Icon Right Description
Cc-by_new.svg Attribution (BY) Licensees may copy, distribute, display and perform the work and make derivative works based on it only if they give the author or licensor the credits in the manner specified by these.
Cc-sa.svg Share-alike (SA) Licensees may distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs the original work. (See also copyleft)
Cc-nc.svg Non-commercial (NC) Licensees may copy, distribute, display, and perform the work and make derivative works based on it only for non-commercial purposes.
Cc-nd.svg No Derivative Works (ND) Licensees may copy, distribute, display and perform only verbatim copies of the work, not derivative works based on it.

The last two clauses are not free content licenses, according to definitions such as DFSG or the Free Software Foundation’s standards, and cannot be used in contexts that require these freedoms, such as Wikipedia.

Mixing and matching these conditions produces sixteen possible combinations, of which eleven are valid Creative Commons licenses and five are not. Of the five invalid combinations, four include both the “nd” and “sa” clauses, which are mutually exclusive; and one includes none of the clauses. Of the eleven valid combinations, the five that lack the “by” clause have been retired because 98% of licensors requested attribution, though they do remain available for reference on the website. This leaves six regularly used licenses:

Icon Description Acronym
88x31 Attribution alone BY
88x31 (1) Attribution + NoDerivatives BY-ND
88x31 (2) Attribution + ShareAlike BY-SA
88x31 (3) Attribution + Noncommercial BY-NC
88x31 (4) Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives BY-NC-ND
88x31 (5) Attribution + Noncommercial + ShareAlike BY-NC-SA

For example, the Creative Commons Attribution (BY) license allows one to share and remix (create derivative works), even for commercial use, so long as attribution is given.

GNU Free Documentation License

The GNU Free Documentation License (GNU FDL or simply GFDL) is a copyleft license for free documentation, designed by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) for the GNU Project. It is similar to the GNU General Public License, giving readers the rights to copy, redistribute, and modify a work and requires all copies and derivatives to be available under the same license. Copies may also be sold commercially, but, if produced in larger quantities (greater than 100), the original document or source code must be made available to the work’s recipient.

The GFDL was designed for manuals, textbooks, other reference and instructional materials, and documentation which often accompanies GNU software. However, it can be used for any text-based work, regardless of subject matter. For example, the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia uses the GFDL (coupled with the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License) for all of its text.


Material licensed under the current version of the license can be used for any purpose, as long as the use meets certain conditions.

  • All previous authors of the work must be attributed.
  • All changes to the work must be logged.
  • All derivative works must be licensed under the same license.
  • The full text of the license, unmodified invariant sections as defined by the author if any, and any other added warranty disclaimers (such as a general disclaimer alerting readers that the document may not be accurate for example) and copyright notices from previous versions must be maintained.
  • Technical measures such as DRM may not be used to control or obstruct distribution or editing of the document.

Open Publication License

Open Publication License is a license open publications created by the Open Content Project, which now recommends using one of the Creative Commons licenses.

While the Open Publication License replaced the Open Content License, the two licenses differ substantially. The Open Publication License is not a share-alike license while the Open Content License is and the Open Publication License can optionally restrict the distribution of derivative works or to restrict the commercial distribution of paper copies of the work or derivatives of the work, whereas the Open Content License forbade copying for profit altogether.

According to the Free Software Foundation,[2] the Open Publication License “can be used as a free documentation license” and is “a copyleft free documentation license provided the copyright holder does not exercise any of the ‘LICENSE OPTIONS’ listed in Section VI of the license.” It is not, however, compatible with the GNU FDL.


Copyleft (a play on the word copyright) is the practice of using copyright law to offer the right to distribute copies and modified versions of a work and requiring that the same rights be preserved in modified versions of the work. In other words, copyleft is a general method for marking a creative work as freely available to be modified, and requiring all modified and extended versions of the creative work to be free as well. Copyleft is a form of and can be used to maintain copyright conditions for works such as computer software, documents, and art. In general, copyright law is used by an author to prohibit recipients from reproducing, adapting, or distributing copies of the work. In contrast, under copyleft, an author may give every person who receives a copy of a work permission to reproduce, adapt or distribute it and require that any resulting copies or adaptations are also bound by the same licensing agreement.

Copyleft licenses (for software) require that information necessary for reproducing and modifying the work must be made available to recipients of the executable. The source code files will usually contain a copy of the license terms and acknowledge the author(s). Copyleft type licenses are a novel use of existing copyright law to ensure a work remains freely available. The GNU General Public License, originally written by Richard Stallman, was the first copyleft license to see extensive use, and continues to dominate the licensing of copylefted software. Creative Commons, a non-profit organization founded by Lawrence Lessig, provides a similar license provision condition called ShareAlike.


Copyleft can be characterized as a copyright licensing scheme in which an author surrenders some, but not all rights under copyright law. Instead of allowing a work to fall completely into the public domain (where no ownership of copyright is claimed), copyleft allows an author to impose some restrictions on those who want to engage in activities that would more usually be reserved by the copyright holder. Under copyleft, derived works may be produced provided they are released under the compatible copyleft scheme.

The underlying principle is that one benefits freely from the work of others but any modifications one makes must be released under compatible terms. For this reason some copyleft licenses are also known as reciprocal licenses, they have also been described as “viral” due to their self-perpetuating terms. Under fair use, however, the copyleft license may be superseded, just like regular copyrights. Therefore, any person utilizing a copyleft-licensed source for their own work is free to choose any other license provided they meet the fair use standard.

While copyright law gives software authors control over copying, distribution and modification of their works, the goal of copyleft is to give all users of the software the freedom to carry out these activities. In this way, copyleft licenses are distinct from other types of free software licenses, which do not guarantee that all “downstream” recipients of the program receive these rights, or the source code needed to make them effective. In particular, permissive free software licenses such as BSD allow re-distributors to remove some or all these rights, and do not require the distribution of source code.

Applying copyleft

Common practice for using copyleft is to codify the copying terms for a work with a license. Any such license typically gives each person possessing a copy of the work the same freedoms as the author, including (from the Free Software Definition):

Freedom 0 – the freedom to use the work, Freedom 1 – the freedom to study the work, Freedom 2 – the freedom to copy and share the work with others, Freedom 3 – the freedom to modify the work, and the freedom to distribute modified and therefore derivative works. (Note that the list begins from 0 as a reference to C and many derivative languages.)

These freedoms do not ensure that a derivative work will be distributed under the same liberal terms. In order for the work to be truly copyleft, the license has to ensure that the author of a derived work can only distribute such works under the same or equivalent license.

In addition to restrictions on copying, copyleft licenses address other possible impediments. These include ensuring the rights cannot be later revoked and requiring the work and its derivatives to be provided in a form that facilitates modification. In software, this requires that the source code of the derived work be made available together with the software itself.

Copyleft licenses necessarily make creative use of relevant rules and laws. For example, when using copyright law, those who contribute to a work under copyleft usually must gain, defer or assign copyright holder status. By submitting the copyright of their contributions under a copyleft license, they deliberately give up some of the rights that normally follow from copyright, including the right to be the unique distributor of copies of the work.

Some laws used for copyleft licenses vary from one country to another, and may also be granted in terms that vary from country to country. For example, in some countries it is acceptable to sell a software product without warranty, in standard GNU GPL style (see articles 11 and 12 of the GNU GPL version 2), while in most European countries it is not permitted for a software distributor to waive all warranties regarding a sold product. For this reason the extent of such warranties are specified in most European copyleft licenses. Regarding that, see the European Union Public Licence EUPL, or the CeCILL license, a license that allows one to use GNU GPL (see article 5 of the EUPL and article 5.3.4 of CeCILL) in combination with a limited warranty (see article 7 and 8 of the EUPL and 9 of CeCILL).


GNU General Public License

Various Licenses and Comments about Them – GNU Project – Free Software Foundation (FSF)

Open Source Initiative The CPL License

The CPL License from IBM

Software license Information on the Wikipedia

The Eclipse Public License, version 1.0

MIT License variants

BSD License Definition

List of works available under a Creative Commons license

Creative Commons jurisdiction ports

Copyleft: Pragmatic Idealism by Richard Stallman

Eye Magazine – Copyleft and Copyright article