Interoperable interactive geometry for Europe
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This platform is brought to you by the intergeo project, funded under the eContent Plus programme of the European commission and by partners

Why Providing a License?

Licensing is boring… and requiring a friend, fellow, colleague, or learner to actually agree on an unreadable legal text is non-sense. I think I cannot fully contradict that. Basically the problematic is the same as knowing all the laws that allow us to purchase a book or to cross the street: no-one really knows all the details, one has taught us that it was doable, and one just does it.

Licensing is needed because it is the only allowance of an author to actually provide the right to use some documents. Without this right, the recipient basically is not allowed to do anything. This has been considered to be fine on the web. But this default allowance is not enough to allow fellows to:

  • redistribute a learning resource to one's learners
  • modify it to enhance it, and maybe republish it
  • speak about it
Hence, all works should come with a license.

Effects of Licensing

Misconception 1: I have applied License x/y/z, and now… works based on this also need this license… oh bummer!

This is a very classical misconception: licensing provides allowance to others (licere is the latin verb to allow) but does not remove ownership at all! You are still free to go to a publisher to include this in a book or relicense to a more permissive license!

Misconception 2: Others will be Using it Without My Consent

Precisely… you are giving your consent by licensing: you are giving the freedom.

Of course, it means that others will be able to redistribute following terms set by the license. In most licenses, for example, it means that your authorship (and his) is to be clearly indicated.

You have to be aware that this feedom sounds big, especially for such licenses which allow modifications, but that precisely, adoption is conditionned to such an allowance.:

  • if you receive a construction and that your are not allowed to change it, you will judge it as a finished product you can do nothing about… and a single disadvantage will remove your full taste to adopt it
  • the fact that you, as work-recipient, can redistribute it is crucial if the originator is unknown to you: that originator may stop this product anytime and only the license allows you, then, to further make this work be used further. (compare this to a binary software which would base parts of its functions on web-services, or which would fetch authorization on central-services to be used, if the originator stops the services… the work would suddenly be unusable!).

Back to Licenses' home.