Shayan's Software & Technology

My adventure as a Software Engineer continues..,

License Agreements: Open Source (GPL Version 3, 29 June 2007) Vs Proprietary (Apple IOS V 5.1)

GPL: General Public License

IOS: Internet Operating System (mac)

Three Things that Struck me:

1) The Language

GPL Version 3

The Language of the GPL Open Source License is written very informally. As if it were a conversation between me and the writer. It intends to gauge the reader and to re-assure them that they have free reign over any software that is distributed under this License. It also touches on what other proprietary licenses hope to accomplish: i.e: reducing the “freedom” the user has with the intellectual property. The GPL License’s license also suggests that it was not written by a lawyer who is trying to ensure the needs of his employer are met and that it cannot be challenged in the court of law. It is also worded loosely to ensure freedom of all software, whatever it may be.

IOS Version 5.1

The Language of the Apple License is more to the point. It does not waste any time in introducing the user to anything. It states specifically what the user can and cannot do with the software. It also lists and states the components of the software that cannot be modified or stolen by the user i.e: Fonts, Rom Boots, interfaces, documentations etc. It is written very formally, in the sense that it keeps a distance from the reader and clearly draws the line between what the expectations are with the software and it’s terms of use. It is important to note that this license is  specifically for the IOS Version 5 which means that it contains details about this product rather than loose language to generalize proprietary software.

2) Format

GPL Version 3

The format of the license agreement is very reader friendly. It has an introduction in “Preamble” which describes the nature of what licenses are what the environment is like. Then it goes to the “Terms and Conditions” which describe what the user can and cannot do with the software. An Interesting thing to note is that the Terms are defined clearly before so that the reader can understand the definitions of the words used and their meaning or intent.

IOS Version 5.1

The format of this License is very compressed.  The company really wanted to ensure that all of their information was close together and tidy. Some “important” information such as in introduction is Bolded and capitalized whereas the Disclaimer and other sections are only Capitalized for emphasis. The categories include components of the software and what the user can or cannot do with it. This specific license is a lot longer than the GPL License. Some sections of importance have their text bolded.

3) Third Party Terms

GPL Version 3

The GPL License is not Subject to Third Party terms and services. which means that you do not have to read or understand any other license agreement. It is a General Public License.

IOS version 5.1

This is quite interesting. If you were to use the IOS 5.1 software you must also comply to third party terms and services of the technology used in this bundle. Which means that reading the IOS 5.1 License is not enough. The Licenses of Youtube and Google Maps must also be read in order to have a clear and complete understanding of what can or cannot be done with the IOS 5.1 software.

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