A Dual Model of Open Source License Growth

  • Gottfried Hofmann
  • Dirk Riehle
  • Carsten Kolassa
  • Wolfgang Mauerer
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 404)


Every open source project needs to decide on an open source license. This decision is of high economic relevance: Just which license is the best one to help the project grow and attract a community? The most common question is: Should the project choose a restrictive (reciprocal) license or a more permissive one? As an important step towards answering this question, this paper analyses actual license choice and correlated project growth from ten years of open source projects. It provides closed analytical models and finds that around 2001 a reversal in license choice occurred from restrictive towards permissive licenses.


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gottfried Hofmann
    • 1
  • Dirk Riehle
    • 1
  • Carsten Kolassa
    • 1
  • Wolfgang Mauerer
    • 2
  1. 1.Computer Science DepartmentFriedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-NürnbergErlangenGermany
  2. 2.Corporate Research and TechnologiesSiemens AGErlangenGermany

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