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Licenses

Open source licenses grant permission to everyone to use, modify, and share licensed software for any purpose, subject to conditions preserving the provenance and openness of the software. The following licenses are arranged from one with the strongest of these conditions (GNU AGPLv3) to one with no conditions (Unlicense). Notice that the popular licenses featured on the home page (GNU GPLv3, Apache License 2.0, and MIT License) fall within this spectrum.

If you were looking for a reference table of all of the licenses on choosealicense.com, see the appendix.

GNU AGPLv3

Permissions of this strongest copyleft license are conditioned on making available complete source code of licensed works and modifications, which include larger works using a licensed work, under the same license. Copyright and license notices must be preserved. Contributors provide an express grant of patent rights. When a modified version is used to provide a service over a network, the complete source code of the modified version must be made available.

Permissions Conditions Limitations
  • Commercial Use
  • Distribution
  • Modification
  • Patent Use
  • Private Use
  • Disclose Source
  • Network Use is Distribution
  • Same License
  • State Changes
  • Hold Liable

View full GNU Affero General Public License v3.0 »

GNU GPLv3

Permissions of this strong copyleft license are conditioned on making available complete source code of licensed works and modifications, which include larger works using a licensed work, under the same license. Copyright and license notices must be preserved. Contributors provide an express grant of patent rights.

Permissions Conditions Limitations
  • Commercial Use
  • Distribution
  • Modification
  • Patent Use
  • Private Use
  • Disclose Source
  • Same License
  • State Changes
  • Hold Liable

View full GNU General Public License v3.0 »

GNU LGPLv3

Permissions of this copyleft license are conditioned on making available complete source code of licensed works and modifications under the same license or the GNU GPLv3. Copyright and license notices must be preserved. Contributors provide an express grant of patent rights. However, a larger work using the licensed work through interfaces provided by the licensed work may be distributed under different terms and without source code for the larger work.

Permissions Conditions Limitations
  • Commercial Use
  • Distribution
  • Modification
  • Patent Use
  • Private Use
  • Disclose Source
  • Same License
  • State Changes
  • Hold Liable

View full GNU Lesser General Public License v3.0 »

Mozilla Public License 2.0

Permissions of this weak copyleft license are conditioned on making available source code of licensed files and modifications of those files under the same license (or in certain cases, one of the GNU licenses). Copyright and license notices must be preserved. Contributors provide an express grant of patent rights. However, a larger work using the licensed work may be distributed under different terms and without source code for files added in the larger work.

Permissions Conditions Limitations
  • Commercial Use
  • Distribution
  • Modification
  • Patent Use
  • Private Use
  • Disclose Source
  • Same License
  • Hold Liable
  • Trademark Use

View full Mozilla Public License 2.0 »

Apache License 2.0

A permissive license whose main conditions require preservation of copyright and license notices. Contributors provide an express grant of patent rights. Licensed works, modifications, and larger works may be distributed under different terms and without source code.

Permissions Conditions Limitations
  • Commercial Use
  • Distribution
  • Modification
  • Patent Use
  • Private Use
  • State Changes
  • Hold Liable
  • Trademark Use

View full Apache License 2.0 »

MIT License

A short and simple permissive license with conditions only requiring preservation of copyright and license notices. Licensed works, modifications, and larger works may be distributed under different terms and without source code.

Permissions Conditions Limitations
  • Commercial Use
  • Distribution
  • Modification
  • Private Use
  • Hold Liable

View full MIT License »

The Unlicense

A license with no conditions whatsoever which dedicates works to the public domain. Unlicensed works, modifications, and larger works may be distributed under different terms and without source code.

Permissions Conditions Limitations
  • Commercial Use
  • Distribution
  • Modification
  • Private Use
  • Hold Liable

View full The Unlicense »

The above licenses represent the entire spectrum of open source licenses, from highly protective to unconditional. One of these should work for most new open source projects. Many other open source licenses exist, including older versions of and close substitutes for some of the above. See the resources listed on our about page if you'd like to read more.