License Center (German version)


The following alphabetical list of Free Software/Open Source, Open Content and related licenses is not a complete collection. Please, submit suggestions for completion and comments to Most of the links do not refer to ifrOSS' own editorial content, but to third party websites.

A. Open Source Licenses

The following licenses comply with the preconditions of the Free Software Definition and the Open Source Definition. They are labelled in accordance with the respective legal chacteristic as licenses without copyleft effect, licenses with strong copyleft effect, licenses with limited copyleft effect , licenses with restricted options, licenses with privileges, Other Software Licenses, Open Content Licenses and Other Licenses for fair use of Immaterial Goods. However, for some of these licenses, it is discussed controversially, whether the preconditions are fulfilled, because the relevant definitions, the Free Software Definition and the Open Source Definition, are not identical to each other and are modified by a constant developement. The respective licenses are marked as "qualification controversial".

I. Licenses without Copyleft Effect

It is characteristical for licenses without copyleft effect that they grant all rights and privileges of an Open Source license to the user and that they do not restrict the user in case of modifications with further conditions as to which license has to be used subesquently. Thus, the respective licensee may distribute modified versions of the software under a license of his choice and therfore may transform the licensed product to proprietary software.

a) BSDstyled Licenses

BSDstyled licenses are the original BSD license and its derivates.

  1. Apache License (v. 1.0),
  2. Apache License (v. 1.1),
  3. Apache License (v. 2.0),
  4. Attribution Assurance License,
  5. 4.4 BSD Copyright (original BSD license),
  6. FreeBSD Copyright (modified BSD license),
  7. BSD License (original),
  8. Christian Software Public License,
  9. Cougaar Open Source License, (qualification controversial)
  10. Cryptix General License,
  11. Eiffel Forum License (v. 1.0),
  12. Eiffel Forum License (v. 2.0),
  13. Entessa Public License (EPL) (v. 1.0),
  14. Free Fuzzy Logic Library Open Source License,
  15. Intel Open Source License for CDSA/CSSM Implementation,
  16. Lua Copyright notice,
  17. MIT License,
  18. Mozart License,
  19. OpenLDAP Public License (v. 2.3),
  20. OpenLDAP Public License (v. 2.5),
  21. OpenLDAP Public License (v. 2.7),
  22. OpenLDAP Public License (v. 2.8),
  23. Open Media Group Open Source License,
  24. Pangeia Informatica Copyright (v. 1.2),
  25. Phorum License (v. 2.0),
  26. PHP License (v. 3.0),
  27. Python Copyright, http://
  28. skyBuilders Open Source License,
  29. SpeechWorks Public License - Software (v. 1.1),
  30. 4Suite License (v. 1.1),
  31. Tea Software License,
  32. Udanax Open-Source License ,
  33. Vovida Software License,
  34. W3C Software Notice and License,
  35. Wide Open License (WOL),
  36. X.Net License,
  37. X Window System License,
  38. XFree86 Project Licence,
  39. The License of ZLib,
  40. The SpeechWorks Public License (v. 1.1 ),
b) Other Licenses without Copyleft Effect
  1. Academic Free License (AFL) (v. 1.1),
  2. Academic Free License (AFL) (v. 1.1),
  3. Academic Free License (AFL) (v. 1.2),
  4. Academic Free License (AFL) (v. 2.0),
  5. Academic Free License (AFL) (v. 2.1),
  6. Academic Free License (AFL) (v. 3.0),
  7. CeCILL-B License,
  8. Condor Public License (v. 1.1),
  9. CNRI Open Source License Agreement (until Python 1.6),
  10. FreeType Project License,
  11. Galen Open Source License (GOSL),
  12. Globus Toolkit Public License,
  13. Globus Toolkit Public License (GTPL) (v. 2.0),
  14. ICU License,
  15. ISC License,
  16. MirOS License,
  17. Open Group Test Suite License,
  18. PSF License Agreement (Python),
  19. Ruby License,
  20. Sendmail License,
  21. SFL License Agreement (iMatix),
  22. Standard ML of New Jersey Copyright Notice,
  23. Suneido Free Software License,
  24. Tcl/Tk License Terms,
  25. xinetd License,;content-type=text%2Fplain
  26. Zope Public License (v. 2.1),

II. Licenses with strong Copyleft Effect

Licenses have a strong copyleft effect if licensee is shall distribute the modified software only under the same license terms as the software originally acquired. This, however, does not necessarily mean that the licenses as listed listed are "GPL compatible".

a) GPLstyled Licenses

  1. Affero General Public License,
  2. Affero General Public License,
  3. Alternate Route Open Source License (v. 1.1),
  4. CeCILL License (v. 2),
  5. CrossPoint Source Code License, (only in German),
  6. eCos License (v. 2.0),
  7. FreeCard License,
  8. GNU Classpath - GPL with special exception,
  9. GNU Emacs General Public License,
  10. GNU General Public License (GPL) (v. 1.0),
  11. GNU General Public License (GPL) (v. 2.0),
  12. GNU General Public License (GPL) (v. 3.0),
  13. GNU General Public License (GPL) (v. 3.0) - inofficial German translation,
  14. GNU Affero General Public License (GPL) (v. 3.0),
  15. Honest Public License (HPL) (1.0),
  16. Honest Public License (HPL) (1.1),
  17. Open RTLinux Patent License,
b) Other Licenses with strong Copyleft Effect
  1. Apple Public Source License (v. 2.0),
  2. Arphic Public License,
  3. Boost Software License,
  4. Common Public License,
  5. Deutsche Freie Softwarelizenz (d-fsl) - (German Free Software License),
  6. Eclipse Public License (v. 1.0),
  7. European Public License (v. 1.0),
  8. IBM Public License,
  9. Jabber Open Source License,
  10. Lucent Public License Version (v. 1.02),
  11. Nethack General Public License,
  12. Open Group Public License,
  13. Open Software License (OSL) (v 2.1),
  14. RedHat eCos Public License (v. 1.1),
  15. RedHat eCos Public License (v. 1.1),
  16. Salutation Public License,
  17. Software AG License Terms (Quip License) (v. 1.3),
  18. Vim License,

III. Licenses with restricted Copyleft Effect

Licenses with limited Copyleft Effect are similar to the licenses as listed supra II., because they have a copyleft effect. Here, however, the Copyleft Effect is limited. If modifications are made in a seperate file, such file's content may be distributed under a license different from the original license, e.g. a proprietary license. This kind of licenses is designed for combining more easily software under different licenses.

a) MPLstyled Licenses

  1. Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL) (v. 1.0),
  2. Erlang Public License (v. 1.1),
  3. ICS Open Source Public License,
  4. Interbase Public License,
  5. Mozilla Public License (v. 1.0),
  6. Mozilla Public License (v. 1.1),
  7. NASA Open Source Agreement (v. 1.3),
  8. Netizen Open Source License (NOSL),
  9. Nokia Open Source License,
  10. Open Telecom Public License,
  11. Ricoh Source Code Public License,
  12. Sun Public License,
  13. Sun Industry Standards Source License (v. 1.1),
  14. Zenplex Public License,
  15. Zimbra Public License (ZPL) (v. 1.2),
b) Other licenses with restricted Copyleft Effect
  1. Bremer Lizenz für freie Softwarebibliotheken (OSCI-Lizenz) (v. 1.0),
  2. CeCILL-C License,
  3. Cougaar Open Source License Agreement, (qualification controversial)
  4. Hi-Potent Open Source License,
  5. GNU Library General Public License (LGPL) (v. 2.0),
  6. GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) (v. 2.1),
  7. GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) (v. 3.0),
  8. Microsoft Reciprocal License (Ms-RL),
  9. Microsoft Limited Reciprocal License (Ms-LRL),
  10. Motosoto Open Source License (v. 0.9.1),
  11. Sybase Open Watcom Public License,
  12. wxWindows Library License (v. 3.0),
  13. Yahoo! Public License (YPL) (v. 1.1),

IV. Licenses with Restricted Choice

These licenses have several legal effects, depending on the scope of the respective modification. Furthermore, licensee has a restricted choice of how to distribute modifications of the software.

  1. Artistic License (v. 1.0), (qualification controversial)
  2. Artistic License (v. 2.0),
  3. Clarified Artistic License,
  4. Keith Devens' Open Source License,
  5. LaTeX Project Public License (LPPL) (v. 1.0),
  6. LaTeX Project Public License (LPPL) (v. 1.1),
  7. LaTeX Project Public License (LPPL) (v. 1.2),
  8. LaTeX Project Public License (LPPL) (v. 1.3c),
  9. Open Source License for Oracle Berkeley DB,
  10. Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL),
  11. Physnet Package License,
  12. SGI Free Software License B (v. 1.0) , (qualification controversial)
  13. SGI Free Software License B (v. 1.1) , (qualification controversial)
  14. Sleepycat Software Product License,

V. Licenses with Privilegs

Licenses with privileges do grant to licensee all the rights characteristic for Free Software, but at the same time reserve special privilegs for licensor, in case licensee modifies the software. This kind of license is often used turning proprietary software into Free Software.

  1. Apple Public Source License (v. 1.0), (qualification controversial)
  2. Apple Public Source License (v. 1.1), (qualification controversial)
  3. Apple Public Source License (v. 1.2), (qualification controversial)
  4. Macromedia Open Source License Agreement (v. 1.0),
  5. Netscape Public License (NPL) (v. 1.0),
  6. Netscape Public License (NPL) (v. 1.1),
  7. OCLC Research Public License (v. 1.0),
  8. OCLC Research Public License (v. 2.0),
  9. Open Map Software License Agreement,
  10. Q Public License (QPL),
  11. RealNetworks Community Source License - Research and Development Use (RCSL R&D)(v 3.0)
  12. RealNetworks Public Source License (RPSL) (v. 1.0),

B. Other Software Licenses

The licenses listed below are used in the world of Free Software or seem to be Open Source Software without fulfilling the preconditions of the Free Software Definition or the Open Source Definition. Some of them are "non-profit licenses" which, other than real Open Source licenses, ban commercial distribution.

  1. Aladdin Free Public License (v. 8.0),
  2. Aladdin Free Public License (v. 9.0),
  3. AT&T Source Code Agreement (v. 1.2D),
  4. CrossPoint Quelltext Lizenz (alt),
  5. Enhydra Public License (v. 1.1), (qualification controversial)
  6. Hacktivismo Enhanced-Source Software License Agreement (v. 0.1) (HESSLA),
  7. Jahia Community Source License (JSCL) (v.012), http:/
  8. Microsoft Reference License (Ms-RL),
  9. Open Public License, controversial)
  10. Open RTLinux Patent License (v. 1.0),
  11. PLS Free Software License Agreement (v. 1.0),
  12. RedHat eCos Public License (v. 1.1), (qualification controversial)
  13. Scilab license,
  14. SGI Free Software License B (v. 1.0) , (qualification controversial)
  15. ShippySoft Source Available License (SSSAL),
  16. Squeak License (Apple),
  17. Sun Community Source License,
  18. Sun Solaris Source Code (Foundation Release) License (v. 1.1),
  19. University of Utah Public License,
  20. YaST and SuSE Linux license terms,
  21. YaST und SuSE Linux Lizenzbestimmungen,
  22. ZIB Academic License,

C. Open Content Licenses

Open Content licenses aim at transferring the idea underlying Free Software upon copyrightable works other than software. There is no generally accepted definition of Open Content, and therefore these licenses are quite heterogeneous.

  1. Apple's Common Documentation License (v. 1.0),
  2. Creative Commons Licenses,
  3. Digital Peer Publishing License (v. 1.0),
  4. Digital Peer Publishing License (v. 2.0),
  5. Digital Peer Publishing License - "modulare DPPL" (m-DPPL),
  6. Digital Peer Publishing License - "freie DPPL" (f-DPPL),
  7. EFF Audio Public License (v. 1.0.1),
  8. electronic Music Public License,
  9. Ethymonics Free Music License,
  10. Free Art License,
  11. Lizenz "Freie Kunst" (Übersetzung der Free Art License),
  12. FreeBSD Documentation License,
  13. GNU Free Documentation License (FDL) (v. 1.1),
  14. GNU Free Documentation License (FDL) (v. 1.2),
  15. Guy Hoffman's license,
  16. ifrOSS` Freie Lizenz für Texte und Textdatenbanken (IFL Text),
  17. Linux Documentation Project Copying License,
  18. Open Content License (OPL),
  19. Open Directory Project License,
  20. Open Game License,
  21. The green Open Music Licence,
  22. The yellow Open Music License,
  23. Open Publication License (v. 1.0),
  24. Open Source Music License (OSML),
  25. Public Documentation License (PDL),

D. Other Licenses for fair use of Immaterial Goods

The following chapter, shows licenses which neither couldn´t be assumed to Free Software nor to the class of Open Content. They build an own kind of licenses in the category of immaterial goods.

  1. CAMBIA Plant Molecular Enabling Technology BiOS License (v. 1.5),
  2. BiOS Material Transfer Agreemant (v. 1.0),
  3. Open Database License (ODbL) (v. 1.0),