For open core companies, licensing terms can become complex. For new company launch, OCV will focus on projects with permissive licenses already or the possibility to relicense. MIT is the preferred open source license for OCV.
Is the open source project under a permissive license (e.g. MIT, Apache, or BSD) already?
- If yes, great.
- If no, is relicensing a possibility? This should be done through the influence of the author of the project or the key contributor in the community.
- If yes, then we recommend to relicense to MIT and release a blog post explaining the rationale behind this change to the open source community.
- See blog example here: https://goauthentik.io/blog/2022-11-02-the-next-step-for-authentik
- If no, we may not start a company around this project.
The licensing for a repository should be stated in the master directory of the repository in a document titled “LICENSE”. Where different portions of a repository have differential licensing, it is best to be explicit about that differential licensing. The license document should describe explicitly which directories fall under which license and where specifically software is proprietary.
Proprietary code should be source available and live in a repository titled
Below is a standard template for OCV companies with MIT license. Please copy, paste into “LICENSE” document, and update for company’s legal name. This template needs to be updated by legal if the open source project is under an Apache or other permissive license.