Permissive Free Software Licenses (also known as BSD licenses) are free software licenses with minimum requirements such as how they can be distributed.

One of the keys to its success is that it is permissive and it requires the author’s to attribute their work.

To what extent is the use of permissive free software license standardised?

In the following blog post, we will learn about some of the most used licenses in the current market.


This license allows the reuse of this licensed software to be free and to be propietary software.

It is also compatible with GPL licenses. The MIT license was the most popular on Github in 2015, and to this day, it still remains among the most used. Some of the projects under this license are Ruby on rails, Node.js, JQuery…

This type of license does not grant any limitation on the right to use, copy, modify…

They follow these coniditons:

  • The copyright notice and permission notices must be included on all copies.

  • The software is provided “as is”, there is no guarantee of any kind.


It is a family of licenses. BSD does not required the source code to be distributed at all.

These licenses must meet the following rules of use:

  • The redistributions of the source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions, and the following disclaimer.

  • Redistribution in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, the list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.

  • Neither the name of the organisation nor the names of its contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software without a specifically written permission. 

Apple Public Source License

Apple’s Darwin operating system was released under this license. Later, the Free Software Foundation approves this license as a free software license, but it is not recommended to launch new projects under these licenses due to the incompatibility with GNU GPL, and to allow the connection with files released as proprietary software.

Apache License

Originally, the essence was the same as the old BSD license. It was in 2004 when Apache decided to depart radically from the BSD model and produced the Apache License v2.

This license does not require work derived from the software. However, you need to apply the same license to all the unmodified parts, and all of them should be retained in redistributed code.

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