What are the 5 types of Software Licenses?

Software is the soul and lifeline of a machine. Any electronic or electric machine that one sees today is run by a set of software coded and developed by engineers and coders who use various languages to create certain functionality for the machines that the software runs on.

Software is designed with lengthy and sophisticated coding processes and therefore is copyrighted by the software creators so that the same code is not replicated to make additional software with shared functionalities.

License management software is specific software that helps in managing the various licenses that coders and software developers use that are shared with other companies for copyrighted software that the various software developers use for developing new software.

Often the software can be used when they are openly licensed, but some software has policies and licenses that restrict the usage of such software when it comes to shared functionalities.

This is why most software development companies have software that dedicatedly works towards managing the various licenses that are required for a company to develop other software.

Software License Management

Software coders develop every software and developers using meticulous coding, developing, testing, debugging and running of software many times before they are released. This process consumes a lot of time and effort and requires a lot of resources in terms of the company’s perspective.

This is why software is licensed – which means that the software is locked by the developer so that without proper authorization or permission, it cannot be used by other software developers.

There are many kinds of software licenses based on the level of sophistication and the company that has licensed the software. Below are the most popular types of software licenses:

1. Public Domain

Public Domain licenses are basically openly licensed software with very few restrictions regarding the usage of their codes and modules.

But there is a difference between public domain licenses and software that do not have licenses. Just because software may not have any license, it does not automatically become public domain and, therefore, must be used cautiously by coders.

2. Permissive

Permissive software is slightly more restrictive than public domain software but has very few policies and rules regarding sharing codes between coders. It is the most popular type of license that is available on the internet.


The Lesser General Public License is more restrictive when it comes to modifying the codes. When a coder links their software without modifying the library, it can be used and released without any restrictions.

But if any part of the code is copied or the library is modified, then the application must conform to the norms of the licensed software.

4. GPL or CopyLeft

GPL or Copyleft licenses is the license type where the license rules apply when using the components or most of the software work – for example, it could be shared under the same name of the license or must be used only for personal work, etc.

5. Proprietary

This is the most restrictive type of license as the rights to its usage are reserved by the license holders. Upon special requests and permissions, they may be available to coders.

Such licenses can be purchased and managed using license management software by companies that need such licenses.

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