First Results About Motivation and Impact of License Changes in Open Source Projects

  • Robert Viseur
  • Gregorio RoblesEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 451)


Free and open source software is characterized by the freedoms and criteria that are warranted by specific licenses. These licenses describe the rights and duties of the licensors and licensees. However, a licensing change may be necessary in the life of an open source project to meet legal developments or to allow the implementation of new business models. This paper examines the motivations and impacts of license changes in open source projects. After a state of the art on the subject, a set of case studies where projects changed their license is presented. Then a set of motivations to change licenses, the ways to legally make this change, the problems caused by this change and a set of benefits of the license change are discussed.


Open source Intellectual property License Contributor agreement Business model 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CETICCharleroiBelgium
  2. 2.University of Mons (Faculty of Engineering)MonsBelgium
  3. 3.Universidad Rey Juan CarlosFuenlabradaSpain

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