Topic "Licensing"

Open Source is very tightly couple to the existence of certain licensing terms. This special relationship therefore requires some attention in this seminar. Different licensing models, their origins, proponents, legal battles and success stories shall be illustrated and presented. We also want to constrast popular Open Source Licenses with commerical licenses like Microsoft's End-User Agreements and investigate the possibility of dual licensing of Open Source projects.

Key questions

  • What influence does licensing have on the development and proliferation of free software?
  • Which different kinds of licenses do exist? How can we categorise them?
  • What happens when licenses are violated?
  • Which guidelines can be used when developing software in situations where there is doubt about the impact of licenses?
  • What can be said about Dual Licensing? Does this still guarantee the Open Source spirit?


  • Mikko Välimäki and Ville Oksanen, 2002. Open Source Licensing Models for A Company Developing Mass Market Software. In proceeding of LawTech 2002, Cambridge MA, USA. (PDF)
  • Mikko Välimäki, 03. Dual Licensing in Open Source Software Industry. In Systemes d´Information et Management 8:1. (PDF)
  • Steve H.Lee, 1999. _Open Source Software Licensing. (PDF)

  • Free Software Foundation, Inc; General Public License.(html)
  • Open Source Initiative.(html)
  • Free Software Foundation, Inc., GNU General Public License , Deutsche Übersetzung der Version 2, Juni 1991.(html)

  • Lothar Gläßer: Open Source Software , May 2004, Publicis Corporate Publishing Verlag, ISBN 3-89578-240-8, Pages 21-41
  • Robert A. Gehring & Bernd Lutterbeck, Open Source Jahrbuch 2004 , Lehmanns Media Verlag, ISBN 3-936427-78-X, Pages 277-304
  • Open Source: Kurz & Gut , O'Reilly & Associates,Inc., ISBN 3-89721-222-6, Pages 9-19
  • Sam Williams, 2002. Free as in Freedom: Richard Stallman's Crusade for Free Software. O'Reilly, ISBN: 0-596-00287-4. (Online-Version)
  • Chris DiBona, Sam Ockman and Mark Stone (eds.), 1999. Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution. O'Reilly, ISBN: 1-565-92582-3. (Online-Version)
  • Bernd Brügge, Dietmar Harhoff & Arnold Picot, "Open-Source-Software", Springer Verlag, ISBN: 3-540203-66-4
  • Andrew St. Laurent, "Understanding Open Source & Free Software Licensing", Oreilly & Associates Inc, ISBN: 0-596005-81-4