Have you ever had to read and interact with a EULA (end-user license agreement)? In most cases, people skim through the walls of text and click “I Agree” to get everything out of the way as soon as possible. That said, the license agreement is a crucial part of the process for a business working on software development or using specific software for company processes.
The software development life cycle cannot move forward without licensing, as it will determine how your software works and the business model you choose to sell it. Furthermore, your software is left open to potential piracy without licensing. If you don’t consider the licensing agreement between your business and the software you’re using, you could open your company up to potential prosecution.
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Types of software licensing
Those who want to get into software licensing would do well to look into the five different software licensing types.
- The Public Domain License. For this type of license, anyone can use the software and make modifications as they see fit. While it’s still considered a software license, it doesn’t do anything to protect the software, as it’s considered free for everyone.
- Also known as the Lesser General Public License, it allows users to link to various open source libraries using the software. However, the resulting code can be adapted under any other type of license.
- The Permissive License. This particular type of license is often considered one of the most popular, as it offers some protection while still being relatively lenient and convenient for end-users. There are some restrictions/requirements for the distribution and modification of the software, but it’s not too restrictive.
- The Copyleft License. With the Copyleft form of licensing, it’s still possible to modify and distribute the software, as the code itself will have to be distributed under the same license. While it might be somewhat restrictive, it’s not often a type of software license used by developers.
- The Proprietary License. Lastly, Proprietary licensing for software is the most restrictive. It does not allow the modification and distribution of the software, which effectively protects any software developer from the use and tampering of the product.
It’s highly recommended that you look into license management software when it comes to software licensing, as it can help you figure out the best way to move forward with software development.
The most effective business model
While many business models are available for software, the most popular is the subscription-based model due to its convenience, ease of use, and ability to future-proof specific business endeavors. While there was a time when people considered the subscription-based model to be complicated and unwieldy, enough people have gotten used to the model that it remains extremely popular.
Licensing software can be challenging for even the most experienced business owner, as there are many things to consider about compliance. Fortunately, there are third-party services available that make compliance less of a hassle for most businesses.