The Importance of Open Source License
Open source can be referred to as, a software whose source code has been available for all to copy and use according to the terms and conditions provided in the license .
Open source course codes can be used by anyone since it is free yet, its use has some restrictions. The author places some specific emphasis as to which par of the code user can edit and which part they should keep. This brings us to our main topic which is the importance of open source license. The open source license is key since it hold information on the following,
- What to change and what to keep: The license has the details of the of all the methods or patterns a user can change and what he has to keep and not tamper with. These licenses are binding and anyone who goes against them can be sued. Source code is free but the authors own the right to tell you which part of it to change and which part to keep. Some authors are generous enough to let the user tamper with the whole code and edit to their suit without any restrictions, nonetheless, some authors do not allow for absolute editing or customization of their code. It has to be used as they want it to be used. All these details can only be found in the license released by the author of the code.
- How to acknowledge the author: Some licenses contain specifications as to how to attribute some form of acknowledgement to them when ever you use their code. For instance the new android license contains a clause that instructs the users of the code to put a phrase of “Powered by Android” at the beginning of every boot. this will be seen in the new android devices. Anytime you switch it on, there will be an inscription that says “Powered by android”, which is because the license in the source code says that should be at the beginning. failure to go according to the license agreement is tantamount to being sued for damages
- Respect for certain patterns: This point is crucial because even though, the source code itself can be changed to suit your specification, the owners of the code have the absolute right to the patterns they used to in coding. If the authors do not want anyone changing their patterns that has to be respected and not just changed or used for other purposes.
- Commercial use sections: things may change when you want to use open source for commercial purposes. there will definitely be terms and and conditions attached that has to be read before going ahead to use the source code for commercial apps or software. If this part is ignored, the user stands the chance of faltering which may be punishable by law.
In conclusion, anytime you want to use open source, please read the license do not just use it because there may be some sections you can or cannot change and that will only be made clear when the license agreement has been read.