Knowledge Base

Licensing

Is this platform free?

Yes, this website is free software because all code loaded by your web browser is libre and open source, under the modern copyleft license EUPL 1.2 as published by the European Union.

Who decides what can I do with a resource?

In crescent order of authority:

  1. the copyright holders;
  2. your ISP and your employers;
  3. the laws of your region/state.

What if I want to replace the license?

Permissive licenses permit changing the legal terms before republishing. Copyleft licenses impose to keep the existing legal terms unchanged.

Is it correct to say Open Source in place of Libre or Free?

Yes, because all Libre resources are by definition also Open Source. However mind that the opposite is not always true.

What if I want to refer to both categories at the same time?

FOSS, FLOSS and F/LOSS are acronyms for "Free, Libre and Open Source software". Those common terms refer to all kinds of Libre and Open Source software licenses. There are no popular equivalent acronyms for other kind of resources.

Who decides what licenses are non-free?

No company, including the Open Source Initiative (OSI) and the Free Software Foundation (FSF)1, can arbitrarily take this decision for the public: these entities are limited to offer their informed opinions and then each developer decides wether trusting them or not and eventually if using a premade license is convenient or not. To guarantee the highest level of freedom to its visitors, the Free Software Database only allows a conservative selection of licenses that meet both the approval of these leading companies and of the broader public.

What are the distinctive traits of the licenses?

Each license grants different rights to the user.

Check out our licensing cheatsheet to learn more.


  1. each listed company name is property of the respective owner and is used only for educational purposes.