The Myth of Open Source License Proliferation

This 451 CAOS (commercial adoption of open source) report examines the claim - perpetuated by both proprietary vendors competing against open source and some within the larger open source community seeking limitations - that open source licenses are proliferating out of control. Instead, the research suggests that the abundance and variety of open source licenses has helped open source software and the vendors that choose it by providing flexibility, effective development and distribution, and the ability to mix open source with proprietary code and licensing.
The report finds there are, in fact, fewer than a dozen open source licenses accounting for nearly all enterprise use of open source. This report identifies those licenses and explores why they have emerged among dozens of others as the most popular choices. By analyzing the open source license choices among enterprises and talking with vendors and users regarding their decisions, it also uncovers the characteristics that drive preferences for specific licenses.

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