Understanding Open Source & Free Software Licensing

Free and open source development models have made tremendous contributions to computing, sustaining both research and commercial projects and making it easier for large groups of people, who may not even be acquainted, to help each other. While this growing activity has a promising future, all of this work is built on top of licenses—legal documents—that often are difficult to understand. Businesses and individuals aren’t always sure what is at stake in their decisions to participate, and deciding which license to use for a particular project. This book is designed to  simplify those decisions, explaining the different licenses  and their effects on projects, including both commercial and non-commercial projects. A free, online version of this book is available from O'Reilly Books.