# About licenses

# License families

We group licenses into multiple license families, which are shown in one of the columns in the license view. You may also use license families in your automation rules as a trigger.

Here, we shortly describe the license families we use.

# Adaptive

The Adaptive Public License, or APL (APL-1.0), is a weak copyleft which is adaptable. The project owner may set up license conditions by choosing specific options from a template. Such options include patent rights, limited attribution, and to what extent changes need to be documented.

# Non-copyleft

Software with a non-copyleft license is permitted to be included in products that are distributed under another license, including proprietary ones. Common non-copyleft licenses include BSD Licenses such as BSD 2-Clause "Simplified" License (BSD-2-Clause), and MIT License (MIT).

# Non-free

A non-free license, or proprietary license, allows the owner to restrict the use, modification, and redistribution of the software.

# Permissive

A permissive software license, also known as BSD-style license, is a "free software" license which, compared to copyleft, has only a minimal amount of restrictions on how to use, modify and redistribute software. The most known permissive licenses are BSD Licenses, Apache Licenses such as Apache License 2.0 (Apache-2.0), and MIT License.

# Strong copyleft

In the family of strong copyleft licenses, regulations can be imposed to all derived works, meaning that the original creator of the works has the most rights. One of the most well known strong copyleft licenses is the GNU General Public Licenses, such as GNU General Public License v3.0 only (GPL-3.0-only). Strong license is also applicable to art, music, sports photography and video.

# Weak copyleft

Weak copyleft licenses refers to a license where not all derived work inherit the copyleft license, rather it depends on how the work was derived. Weak copyleft licenses are mostly used for software libraries by allowing links to other libraries. Known examples of these are Mozilla Public License 2.0 (MPL-2.0), and GNU Lesser General Public License v3.0 only (LGPL-3.0-only). Most known products with weak copyright are Mozilla and OpenOffice.org.

# Public domain

Software places in the public domain is free from all obligations. That is, there is no copyright, trademark, or patent. The software may be distributed, modified, or sold without any attribution.

# Risk details

To grade the potential compliance risks involved with a license we use a kind of traffic-light grading system. Though, it is important to note that the color grading represents the estimated amount and complexity of the compliance concerns, not that some licenses are riskier than others. If you understand all the compliance requirements of a license and are able to fulfill those then the license is practically risk-free regardless of the grading. The grading system is defined as follows.

License risks

Risk levels are given under the assumption that the installed dependency is not affected by external factors including, but not limited to: interactions with other dependencies and effects of compilation. Please adjust the risks levels based on your own internal policies and risk tolerance.

Read more about risk details here (opens new window).