Reading List: Legal & Business Aspects

This reading list is a collection of resources on legal and business aspects of open source. Legal and business aspects of an open source project are part of the foundation for building your project and community. The resources linked here are intended to give you a better idea of open source from a legal perspective.

Foundations

Choosing a license

Choosing permissive

You have decided you want to choose a permissive license, but now what? Unless you have a good reason, there are 3-4 licenses that are most appealing. These resources will help you figure out key differences between common permissive licenses.

Choosing copyleft

You have decided you want to choose a copyleft license, but now what? These resources will help you figure out the differences between the most common copyleft licenses.

Examples

These are a collection of specific examples or scenarios with Open Source licenses. They may cover specific projects using a specific license, or may be more general-purpose considerations for any license.

Software licenses

  • I enforced the AGPL on my code, here’s how it went: When enforcing a copyleft license resulted in non-cooperation instead of collaboration. While effective at protecting your work, copyleft licenses can be overwhelming to others who do not understand Open Source. The practical example in this article is a good reminder of possible outcomes when it comes to enforcing copyleft licenses.

Content licenses

  • Creative Commons NonCommercial clause:

    • Does my use violate the Creative Commons NonCommercial clause of the licenses?: Commonly misunderstood, the NonCommercial clause of the Creative Commons licenses are clear in prohibiting uses that are “primarily intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or monetary compensation.” This F.A.Q. by the Creative Commons offers more details on what NonCommercial implies.

    • NonCommercial interpretation: The NonCommercial license element, explained. If you want the deep dive on everything about Creative Commons NonCommercial licenses, this is it.

Data licenses

These are examples of licenses or projects with open data licenses.