Software licensing is one of the most important parts of any developer team who works with generating new software. By licensing software, an author essentially protects the software from being misused against the author’s wishes and the company that has developed the software.
A license also allows the users to use the software with the appropriate permissions legally and within the norms of the license agreement. For companies that have multiple licenses for various software, license management software helps in keeping track of these licenses procured can be quite tricky.
Misusing a license agreement is a punishable offense; therefore, it is important to document all the software licenses. A license management software helps organize and manage licenses as per the requirement of the firm and allows the usage of the software as per the agreed clause between the author, the user, and the company that owns it.
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What is Software Licensing?
When a company develops software, it is licensed by the author and the company so that the software can be limited for its usage by other people. Instead, a company invests much of its resources to develop a source code for a software program that is used to develop many kinds of electronic and electrical devices such as phones, household machines, automobile consoles, and other such devices.
Software Licensing allows the company to hold the permissions and the required grants for the usage of the software by other users. The benefits of software licensing help in the following things such as:
- Limits the number of software downloads
- Limits the usage of source code
- Allows access to specific parts of the code
- Limits the right to edit or modify the code for new programs
Licenses are a way to generate revenue for software development companies as these licenses are sold at a price to other users and, therefore, can help in creating a stream of revenue for every subsequent usage.
Licensed software comes with an activation key or a product key that helps authenticate and validate the software users. Each software license sold can also be tracked using the keys used by the users or purchasers of the software.
Types of Software Licenses
Below are the 2 most common categories of software licenses in the market:
1. Open Source Software License
Open Source Software License allows people to freely access the source code of the software and use it as per the access provided. Public Domain licenses and LGPL licenses are types of Open source licenses that users can freely download and use.
GPL or copyleft licenses also allow for users to use software, but as long as the credits are still mentioned for the original author or company. Modifications are, however, restricted when it comes to Copyleft licenses.
2. Commercial Software License
Commercial Software licenses are less permissive and therefore have rights of usage that the company reserves. Proprietary software is commercial software licenses. Modified GPL licenses also fall under this category partially.
These licenses charge a certain amount to use the software and therefore have certain rights that are allowed for usage and certain limitations. They can be purchased, however, by large companies and managed using license management software.