Choose a License


Teaching: 5 min
Exercises: 0 min
  • What licensing information should I include with my work?

  • Explain why adding licensing information to a repository is important.

  • Choose a proper license.

  • Explain differences in licensing and social expectations.

Can I Use an Open License?

Find out whether you are allowed to apply an open license to your software. Can you do this unilaterally, or do you need permission from someone in your institution? If so, who?

What Licenses Do My Dependencies Use?

Make a list of the licenses used by the projects that your project depends on. Are there any conflicts between them and the license that you have chosen?

Key Points

  • People who incorporate GPL’d software into their own software must make their software also open under the GPL license; most other open licenses do not require this.

  • The Creative Commons family of licenses allow people to mix and match requirements and restrictions on attribution, creation of derivative works, further sharing, and commercialization.

  • People who are not lawyers should not try to write licenses from scratch.