I am making a PHP application for a PHP framework for a client, currently deciding which framework to use and the license will have a bearing on this.

Will building it in Laravel/Codeiginter(MIT) or Zend(BSD) bring me any issues in handing over to the client, who will be paying for the script I produce.

3 Answers 3


Neither license will put anything in the way of your product, or your ability to sell it.

Free software licenses don't put anything in the way of being able to sell commissioned software.

Under any free license, you are always allowed to create software built upon it, and either license it to your customer, or transfer the copyright to your customer.

If your customer is not planning on distributing the software, but just wants to use it, the only license that could be problematic is the AGPL, which mandates that they must make the source available to people they let interact with the software over a network.

If your customer is planning on distributing the software, the GPL may be problematic because it mandates that they distribute it under the GPL.

As a note, there are many people who mistakenly believe that anything "that touches GPL code" becomes GPL. This is not true, but could be a hindrance if the product were GPL, and your customer does believe that.

The MIT/Expat and BSD licenses are both permissive licenses, and poses no restrictions on distributing your propriety software based on these libraries/frameworks at all.

  • Many people simply believe that treating GPL code that way just makes their headache go away. Nice answer here though.
    – RubberDuck
    Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 1:08
  • Very true @RubberDuck. The amount of FUD and misunderstanding is enormous and pervasive.
    – Martijn
    Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 7:05

You (as the author/owner of the copyright) can decide to sell licenses to use it to some people while giving it away to others, or distributing publicly under whatever (legally valid) conditions you like. It's your call, entirely.

What changes if you do distribute under a open source/free software license is the exact rights you give to people getting your software.


Think of a licence as a pre-made set of rules you want people who want to use your code have to comply to in order to be legally allowed to do so. A licence creates no obligation for the author, but for the users.

As for actual differences between BSD and MIT licences: The main difference is that with BSD licence, the users have to include the complete licence text, including your copyright, if they use your work, which is not mandatory with a MIT licence. More about that here: https://github.com/github/choosealicense.com/issues/257

Maybe you should consider Apache Software Licence, which is also a no-copyleft licence. http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0

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