Qt World Summit: Register Today!

Licensing of Open Source components

  • I've written a small component and want to share it with the community.
    Can I publish it under MIT license? If not, then which license should I use?

    Thank you!

  • Sure, you're the copyright holder, so you can do (almost) anything with it. MIT, BSD, GPL, Apache, MPL,...

    Now your second question is alot more difficult: which license should I use?

    There are many websites/forum posts that try to make it easy choosing the right license. From my (painful) experience, making a well informed decision takes time, because you need to read all the licenses and understand the implications of some inconspicuous statements in there. (And in the end you will probably never feel like making the decision well informed.) And to make it even more difficult: Note that once it's out there, it's out there. Most open source licenses have statements in them that make sure you can't take them back, once you've published code under them. That's a good thing if you think about it, but like i said doesn't make the decision easier.

  • Thank you for the answer.
    Personally I prefer MIT license, but wasn't sure about "compatibility"

  • For an overview of license compatibility, you could look at this page:

    So MIT is among the most compatible for a component (for an application, it's among the most incompatible). If you want very permissive licenses you could also use the "WTFPL":http://www.wtfpl.net/ or public domain. <Personal opinion>Note though that these very permissive licenses take away your capability of benefiting from your work - apart from praises, but you can't feed your family from praises - and thus may undermine the long-term project quality or even existence, when it's a larger project that needs dedication, and not a "fire and forget" code.</Personal opinion>

  • @DerManu, thank you for the links.
    P.S. your point of view makes sense!

Log in to reply