Software Copyright Evolution

Doghouse – Licenses

Article from Issue 276/2023

From no licenses to too many, software copyright finally made its way to including today's free software designation.

Last month I touched briefly on copyright and this month I would like to continue the theme of intellectual property by discussing licenses.

Initially software was not able to have a copyright.

If the sources were exposed and there was no contract, then, basically, the software was in the public domain and people could do whatever they wanted with it.


Use Express-Checkout link below to read the full article (PDF).

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

  • maddog's Doghouse

    The ideas about and methods for protecting software rights have evolved as computers have moved from expensive and relatively rare to far more affordable and ubiquitous.

  • maddog's Doghouse

    Despite the common assumption, everything online is not in the public domain.

  • maddog's Doghouse

    Restricting uses for FOSS may seem appealing, but it also might not be the solution some imagine.

  • Doghouse: Creating a Business

    The open source community doesn't have a fleet of attorneys and PR consultants. When it is time to make the case for free software, you might just have to be the advocate.

  • maddog's Doghouse

    Recent discussions of introducing moral restrictions into free and open source software licensing have maddog remembering all the reasons early developers decided not to go down that road.

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters

Support Our Work

Linux Magazine content is made possible with support from readers like you. Please consider contributing when you’ve found an article to be beneficial.

Learn More