I really don't know much about licensing. All I know is there are a hell of a lot of licenses out there.

I suppose there are so many, because each one exists for a specific use.

Is there a list of open source licenses with its corresponding usages available?

To be specific, I'm looking for an open source license for a mobile app. I'm pretty sure I'll have to adapt to the licenses of the framework(s) I be potentially using.

Please let me know, if this still is too broad.

  • I voted to close this question as too broad. There are just too many different licenses with too many different usage criterias. But I think you could post a question with your specific criteria for a license.
    – Philipp
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 7:43
  • @Philipp I thought so... I may will, but I can do so only if my project advanced to a certain point where I know what frameworks I'll be using and how I'll develop it. Right now, all I have is the idea.
    – Alex
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 7:48

2 Answers 2


A basic list of licenses can be found here: http://opensource.org/licenses

The site Choose a license is designed to help you pick a license.

Generally: most modern licences (look at the popular licenses at opensource.org) are good for most software. But if you use libraries or frameworks by others, the license of these may have influence on the licenses you can choose. for instance the GNU GPL (GNU General Public License) demands, that every derivate code (and that includes code linked if it is a library) to be put under the same license. To know in detail we have to know the libraries/frameworks in question.

So your first step should be to research in which way the stuff you use restricts you on the choice of license. If you are clear about that, you have basically to decide, if you want a permissive license, or one that demands derivates to be open source again (like before mentioned GPL).


Any license approved by the Open Source Initiative is technically an open source license. They have a list on their website, at http://opensource.org/licenses.

Picking a license is difficult. Generally, you need to look at the following things:

  • licenses of code you've used from other places (some licenses require you to use the same license)
  • what you want other people to be able to do with your code

The more you want people to be able to do with your stuff, the more permissive your license needs to be. Apache and public domain are permissive; GPL is more restrictive.

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