Choosing A License

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Title Choosing A License
Overview Student will choose a license for a hypothetical software project based on criteria given
Prerequisite Knowledge Should have had an introduction intellectual property as it relates to software and to open source licenses. Completing Finding_the_License first would be valuable, as this exercise requires finding the license for existing software.
Learning Objectives Students will be able to assess some of the criteria involved in selecting a software license; however, when in doubt (and especially when in doubt and using other's code), a lawyer should be consulted.


Every piece of software your students write should have a license, so it's a good habit to instill early on. In addition, since any novel and unique artistic work is considered copywrited when fixed in a medium (vast oversimplification, but it will do for this purpose), unless coders choose a license, their software is copywrited upon creation.

Good background reading:


For each of the following hypothetical scenarios, research and choose an appropriate license. Choose A License is a good place to start, but will not answer all questions.

  1. If you have written a piece of software and want anyone to be able to use it for anything they'd like to, but you want to have attribution if someone else uses your work. You also want to make sure that you don't give people the impression that you're implying a warranty.
  2. If you've written a piece of software and wish to retain all rights to it, how should you license it?


What will the student hand in?


How will the activity be graded?

How will learning will be measured?

Include sample assessment questions/rubrics.


What should the instructor know before using this activity?

What are some likely difficulties that an instructor may encounter using this activity?

Additional Information:

Knowledge Area/Knowledge Unit Social Issues and Professional Practice (SP) / Intellectual Property
Topic Intellectual property rights
Level of Difficulty Is this activity easy, medium or challenging?
Estimated Time to Completion How long should it take for the student to complete the activity?
Materials/Environment What does the student need? Internet access, IRC client, Git Hub account, LINUX machine, etc.?
Author Gina Likins
Source Is there another activity on which this activity is based? If so, please provide a link to the original resource.
License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Suggestions for the Open Source Project:

Suggestions for an open source community member who is working in conjunction with the instructor.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

CC license.png

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