License Review Article
Before we talk about licenses, I would like to touch on the subject of licensing in order to clarify. So, licensing is most often designed to preserve the source code (source code) from encroachment. What is it? Literally, the computer code of a program in any programming language.
What advantages does it give? There are absolutely no ordinary users, but a programmer can easily determine by him the principle of the program’s work, be able to track all its actions, what is happening, why and for what. It’s like observing the construction of a house from the window of your apartment or working as an engineer at this construction site. You know the source code – you know all the secrets.
The problem is that the machine only understands binary code. There is voltage – 1, no voltage – 0. And a person writes a program in a programming language. These are numbers and symbols, whole teams. In short, the car will go crazy right away.
Therefore, the code written by man has to be translated into the language of machines, that is, to compile the source code into binary (binary). Now a programmer can go nuts. To understand the essence of what is written in compiled code, you need to do the opposite. This is prohibited in most licenses.
An End User License or EULA (End User License Agreement) is an agreement between the software manufacturer and the owner of a copy of this software (end user). In fact, this is not a contract, but unilateral requirements, but they call it that. Conventionally, all types of licenses can be divided into three main groups:
Demo and Trial licenses (commercial software).
Freeware license (freeware).
OpenSource license (free software).
It is important to note that open source, freeware, commercial is the name of groups that combine similar licenses. You can find the GPL license text, but you cannot find the license text called open source, because such a license does not exist, as does the freeware license.
To understand which group the program belongs to, you must carefully read the text of its license when installing on a computer. Each license is an individual document relating to only one program and determining the relationship between the end user and the manufacturer, whether it is an individual programmer or a software company.
Some licenses contain recommendations and rules, while others list tough rules, backed by current legislation. It is one thing when the program is used on a home computer for personal use and completely different when an individual entrepreneur or company uses software to make a profit.
By the way, laws are written, supplemented and amended regularly, and their ignorance does not relieve them of responsibility. Therefore, you must have at least a general idea of the types of licenses and the liability imposed by them!
Demo and Trial Licenses
With commercial licenses, everything is clear. The code is closed and protected by copyright. The owner of rights is most often a company, less often an individual developer. The company developers of the code are on a salary, that is, they have no rights to the source code. The project (program) is developing and being finalized while it makes a profit. Moreover, the development of the project is closely related to profit. Development does not just depend on profit, it is determined in most cases. Everything unpopular from the point of view of financial and (or) marketing policy has no right to life.
This is reminiscent of an arms race: companies are trying to beat the competition and take this or that market segment first. The main thing is to stake a place, and then we’ll figure it out. This, in my opinion, explains the instability and bad reputation of Windows Vista and many other unsuccessful projects of recent times.
The reverse side of the coin is also available. All planned innovations are done as quickly as possible. In the case of free software, you have to wait until the developers accumulate enough enthusiasm or if they suddenly get motivated, after which they will write a new piece of code.
Take at least me this site. For the entire period of the project’s existence, I received donations from visitors of only 500 rubles (thanks to everyone who supported the ruble!) And a couple of dozens of grateful reviews. At the same time, there are 20 times more questions asking for help in solving the problem. Enthusiasm in such an environment is difficult to accumulate!
Licenses like Freeware
Freeware or freeware is the most common type of freebie on the Internet and I assume that it is the most popular. I did not use the word freebie for a reason. Ask ten people how they understand the word freebie and in nine out of ten cases the answer will be something like this: Freebie is something you don’t have to pay for.
For free we often get something not quite good. Not always, but it happens. Why did I apply this term to freeware software? The point here is as follows. As I said above, freeware is not a license (a license requires a document of an established form)