What is a software license?
What is a software license?¶
A software license is a grant of permission for an individual or entity other than than software copyright owner to exercise one or more of the exclusive rights held by the copyright owner.
If you recall from our earlier discussion on copyrights, the rights incident to copyright ownership are the rights to copy, create derivative works, distribute, perform, and display the work among other things.
In the software context, the rights to copy, make derivative works, and distribution are the most relevant.
So what does a Simple Software License look like? Well the following is a simple license.
© 2016, John Doe
Anybody is free to use the software for any purpose.
These are the four parts of a copyright notice.
The words copyright or the copyright symbol: copyright or ©
the year of the first publication: 2016
the rights owner: John Doe
and then the right statement: Anybody is free to use the software for any purpose.
This right statement is a license that confers rights to an individual or entity other than the copyright owner.
In this particular case, the grant is quite broad and without any restriction, and it does satisfy the basic requirements of a software license, and that the copyright owner, is granting rights to anybody to use the software for any purpose.”