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Software Licenses

Applied IT (Year 11) - Application Skills (U1)

Jeckmen Wu

What is a Software Licence?

A software licence is a legal guideline that governs the use, distribution and redistribution of software. 

Types of Software Licences

  • Open source software has the original source code freely available, hence, it is able to be modified by the user (e.g. Moodle). No licence is needed for this type of software as it is available for free but as a result, they often offer minimal customer support services. Contrarily; 

  • Closed source software keeps the source code a secret so only the original programmers can access, copy and alter it. 

  • Proprietary software is essentially a closed sourced software that is pay to use. As it is designed to generate profit, the company will aim to satisfy users with ample customer support services along with regular updates to improve the user experience. 

  • Shareware is a free-of-charge version that is trial based (i.e. free trials) and, hence, must be paid for after a predefined time period.  

  • Freeware is available to use for free but it is usually accompanied by a “premium” paid version with more features (e.g. Canva and Canva Pro). However, it will often be closed source. 

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