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Tue, 25 Sep 2007


The Open Source Initiative and the Free Software Foundation are two organizations that have put their mark of approval on Free/Libre Open Source Software licenses. For those just joining us, those licenses are the permissions documents that make collaboration on software legal. The GNU General Public License and the "BSD License" (as if there's only one) are the two most famous ones.

I keep hearing about "the proliferation of Open Source licenses", and I also hear people claim their software is Open Source when there's no indication they're using a license that guarantees important freedoms to the software's users. I don't think I ever hear people claim their software is Free Software when it's not - at least, not when they use capital letters.

I also hear from people that Open Source software and Free Software are different things. My feelings on this are that people using the different terms are doing the same things, they just may be thinking different things when doing it. Both groups have an interest in continuing to do what they're doing, even if they think of it differently.

(If you can find me an easy-ish to parse page listing the feelings of other organizations on the topic, like Debian, then I'll try to add them to this next time 'round.)

I wrote a program (source) that scrapes the Open Source Initiative's list of licenses and the Free Software Foundation's list of licenses and comments about them and generate a table showing you which licenses have been approved by which one. I began coding in earnest on Software Freedom Day, and I'm publishing it and its results in belated celebration of that day. So here you all go:

License nameLicense URLsApproved by
CeCILL version fsf
Interbase Public License, Version fsf
Historical Permission Notice and osi
XFree86 1.1 Licensefsf
Zend License, Version 2.0fsf
PHP License, Version fsf
Attribution Assurance osi
GNU Library or "Lesser" General Public License (LGPL) osi
Mozilla Public License 1.0 (MPL) osi
Open Group Test Suite osi
Adaptive Public osi
OCLC Research Public License osi
Modified BSD fsf
Sun Industry Standards Source License (SISSL) osi
GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) version fsf
Frameworx osi
Academic Free osi fsf
Ricoh Source Code Public osi
Python Software Foundation osi
Python osi
OpenLDAP License, Version fsf
LaTeX Project Public License fsf
Expat fsf
X.Net osi
MITRE Collaborative Virtual Workspace License (CVW License) osi
LaTeX Project Public License fsf
Apache License, Version fsf
Zope Public License version fsf
PHP osi
OpenSSL fsf
License of fsf
zlib/libpng osi
License of Perl 5 and belowfsf
RealNetworks Public Source License osi fsf
Zope Public License version fsf
Cryptix General fsf
Original BSD fsf
Nokia Open Source osi fsf
License of Vim, Version 6.1 or fsf
Apache Software osi
GNU General Public License (GPL) version fsf
Fair osi
Qt Public License (QPL) osi
Clarified Artistic fsf
IBM Public osi
Apple Public Source osi fsf
Open Software osi
eCos license version fsf
Sybase Open Watcom Public License osi
Netizen Open Source License (NOSL), Version fsf
W3C osi
Jabber Open Source osi
Eiffel Forum osi
License of Netscape Javascriptfsf
Reciprocal Public osi
EU DataGrid Software osi fsf
License of fsf
Affero General Public License version fsf
Old OpenLDAP License, Version 2.3fsf
License of the iMatix Standard Function Libraryfsf
New BSD osi
Berkeley Database fsf
Nethack General Public osi
Lucent Public License Version osi fsf
Eclipse Public osi fsf
Zope Public osi
University of Illinois/NCSA Open Source osi fsf
Condor Public fsf
FreeBSD fsf
IBM Public License, Version fsf
CUA Office Public License Version osi
License of fsf
Apache License, osi fsf
Jabber Open Source License, Version 1.0fsf
Sleepycat osi
License of Python 1.6a2 and earlier fsf
Artistic osi
Standard ML of New Jersey Copyright fsf
Artistic license osi fsf
Lucent Public License (Plan9) osi
Common Public License osi fsf
NASA Open Source Agreement osi
GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) version fsf
Vovida Software License v. osi
Open Software License, all versions through fsf
Common Development and Distribution osi fsf
Public Domainfsf
wxWindows Library osi
Educational Community License, Version osi
X11 fsf
Mozilla Public License 1.1 (MPL) osi fsf
Sun Public osi fsf
License of Python 2.0.1, 2.1.1, and newer fsf
GNU General Public License (GPL) osi
Boost Software fsf
Eiffel Forum License osi fsf
Naumen Public osi
Entessa Public osi
W3C Software Notice and fsf
Computer Associates Trusted Open Source License osi
Sun Industry Standards Source License fsf
GNU General Public License (GPL) version fsf
Motosoto osi
MIT osi
Phorum License, Version fsf
Apache License, Version fsf
License of Python 1.6b1 through 2.0 and fsf
Q Public License (QPL), Version fsf
Netscape Public License (NPL) fsf
Intel Open Source osi fsf

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