Software Licensing

4 min readSep 8, 2020


Hi everyone👋👋 today I would like to share some information about the software’s Licensing. so first we should to know, what is a Software License.

What is a software License?

This is an agreement between the user and the software program’s owner that allow you to do certain thing that would otherwise be an infringement of copyright law. Software licensing describes the legal rights pertaining to the authorized use of digital material.

Free and open source licenses include free software with no monetary usage charge, but users, or licensees, are legally required to abide by agreement terms. Free licenses provide a license with rights similar to the original owner. For example, a licensee may copy, modify and distribute creative works, provided a free license is obtained. Here there are the different types of software licenses Public domain, Permissive, LGPL (Lesser General Public License), Copyleft, Proprietary.

A software license agreement details exclusive and reserved copyright owner rights. Licensees failing to adhere to this agreement section may be held liable under copyright law.Free licenses provide a licensee with rights similar to the original owner. For example, a licensee may copy, modify and distribute creative works, provided a free license is obtained.Some forms of licensing, such as the General Public License (GPL), permit licensees to sell software or digital products. Proprietary licenses are obtained through End User License Agreements (EULA). Without a software licensing agreement, the licensee is strictly prohibited from using licensable media.

Free or open source licenses do not always require signed agreements. However, if a licensee or owner skips this option, the licensee may not realize all open source licensing benefits because an agreement is usually required to redistribute free or open source copyrighted material.With proprietary software, the original copyright owner maintains ownership. By granting a license, which is not always legally binding, the copyright owner is more or less renting or leasing copyrighted materials to licensees.

How does it work?

Basically, software licensing management is what allows you to manage which users can have access to your software. You can even go deeper and offer different features, depending on whether your user is using a trial version, a full unlocked version, or if they need to upgrade to a new version. Licensing plays an important part over the entire lifecycle of your product.

Public domain

This is the most permissive type of software license. When software is in the public domain, anyone can modify and use the software without any restrictions. But you should always make sure it’s secure before adding it to your own codebase.


A permissive software license, sometimes also called BSD-like or BSD-style license,is a free-software license with only minimal restrictions on how the software can be used, modified, and redistributed, usually including a warranty disclaimer. Examples include the GNU All-permissive License, MIT License, BSD licenses, Apple Public Source License and Apache license.

LGPL (Lesser General Public License)

The GNU Lesser General Public License allows you to link to open source libraries in your software. If you simply compile or link an LGPL-licensed library with your own code, you can release your application under any license you want, even a proprietary license. But if you modify the library or copy parts of it into your code, you’ll have to release your application under similar terms as the LGPL.


Copyleft licenses are also known as reciprocal licenses or restrictive licenses. The most well-known example of a copyleft or reciprocal license is the GPL. These licenses allow you to modify the licensed code and distribute new works based on it, as long as you distribute any new works or adaptations under the same software license. For example, a component’s license might say the work is free to use and distribute for personal use only. So any derivative you create would also be limited to personal use only. (A derivative is any new software you develop that contains the component.)


Of all types of software licenses, this is the most restrictive. The idea behind it is that all rights are reserved. It’s generally used for proprietary software where the work may not be modified or redistributed.

Software licensing involves various different stages starting off from procurement, deployment, lifecycle management and eventually disposal. Organizations often opt for a cloud-based IT asset management program to gather accurate information to conduct self-audits. An updated software database enables companies to remain prepared to defend themselves in cases of non-compliance. A strong business team adopts a proactive approach to software licensing by tracking usage at all times.

-Thank you-




BSc.(Hons) Software Engineering Undergraduate -University of kelaniya-