Academic Free License

From Academic Kids

The Academic Free License is an open source software license written in 2002 by Lawrence E. Rosen, general counsel of the Open Source Initiative.

The license grants similar rights to the BSD, MIT, UoI/NCSA and Apache licenses — licenses allowing the software to be taken proprietary — but was written to clarify perceived problems with those licenses:

  • The AFL makes clear what software is being licensed by including a statement following the software's copyright notice;
  • The AFL includes a complete copyright grant to the software;
  • The AFL contains a complete patent grant to the software;
  • The AFL makes clear that no trademark rights are granted to the licensor's trademarks;
  • The AFL warrants that the licensor either owns the copyright or is distributing the software under a license;
  • The AFL is itself copyrighted, with the right granted to copy and distribute without modification.

The AFL is not popular. In January 2004, only 16 projects on Freshmeat used a version of the license. According to the Free Software Foundation, the AFL version 1.2 is not compatible with the GNU GPL; however, the FSF has not commented on the newer version 2.1. According to others, including Eric S. Raymond, the AFL is compatible with the GPL.

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