How We Choose the Best License for our Open Source RAD Framework on GitHub

Getting the right license for your open source project can mean the difference between success and failure for your software. This article will tell you how we choose the one that best suits our needs. It is accompanied by a small guide for some of the licenses we reviewed.

The process of choosing a license is quite time-consuming and you should be a fairly well-read one, and if you are not a happy owner of a law degree, then you will see an fresh ground of information about various free licenses. The main thing that should be done is to decide on limiting criteria. It is important to understand what you want to allow users of your product, and what to prohibit. When you already have a certain description in your hands, you need to impose it on existing licenses and select the one that fits the most criterias. It sounds simple, but in reality, a lot of questions remain.

We wrote another article on Habr about choosing a free license for IONDV. Framework and its products. We share our experience and do not hesitate to share yours.


The main questions that interested us about free licenses were:


- Should the changes in the software be recorded and have no relation to the copyright holder of the system?


- The name of the derivative software should not coincide with the name of the software holder?


- Is it possible to change the license for any new versions to another, including the proprietary one?


Read the answers in the article (sorry, available only in russian).

Having carefully studied the list of the most common licenses, we selected a few that were considered in more detail. Potential licenses for IONDV. Framwork were: GNU GPLv3, Apache 2.0, MIT, and MPL.

Apache 2.0

The Apache License is a permissive license, it requires preservation of copyright and disclaimer notices, however allows the user freedom with the software, including an explicit right to any patents. The “State Changes” clause means that you have to include a notice in each file that you have modified.


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