Open Licences

See also Closed Licences.

List of Libre Licences


Comparing Open Licences

An open licence can be compared to other options based on what options it allows and forbids.

For example, all open licences must permit:

  • DISTRIBUTION (DISTRO): Anyone may distribute the work in its original form.
  • ADAPTATION (ADAPT): Anyone may modify the work in any way, and then distribute it.

Some open licences require:

  • ATTRIBUTION (BY): That those involved in the creation of the work be properly credited for their contributions.
  • COPYLEFT (CL): That the work or any adaptations of the work are always distributed under the same or a comparable licence.
  • NONCOMMERCIAL (NONCOM): That the work or any adaptations of the work are never distributed for profit.

Note that these tags are not exhaustive or comprehensive. Not every licence works the same way. Make sure you read and understand the licence you intend to use.

Table of Open Licences

All of these works are DISTRO-ADAPT.

Licence Attribution Copyleft Noncommercial
Public Domain/Copyright-Only Declaration Not required No No
Open Game License Special1 Yes No
Free Art License Yes Yes No
OpenContent License Yes Yes No
Open Publication License Yes Yes2 No3
Creative Commons
Attribution Yes No No
Attribution-Share Alike Yes Yes No
Attribution-Noncommercial Yes No Yes
Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike Yes Yes Yes
Sampling Plus Yes No Maybe4
NonCommercial Sampling Plus Yes No Yes
NonCommercial5 No No Yes
NonCommercial-Share Alike6 No Yes Yes
Share Alike7 No Yes No
Free Documentation License Yes Yes No
General Public License Yes Yes No
Lesser General Public License Yes Special8 No