License Zero

gainful open software development


License Zero publishes and stewards a few kinds of licenses and license-related agreements, all of which are written to be as short and easy to read as possible.

Public Licenses

The kind of thing you see in LICENSE files. Public licenses give everyone permission to use your software, as long as they follow specific conditions. License Zero supports two public licenses:

Parity Public License
requires others to release software they build with your work
Prosperity Public License
limits commercial use of your software to a trial period

Private Licenses

License Zero's main function is to sell private licenses on developers' behalf, as their licensing agent.

Private License
gives a specific person permission to use commercially and build closed source, with limited rights to sublicense others


License Zero developers can give away quick, freebie exceptions to the share-back or noncommercial conditions using a standard form:

gives a specific person permission to ignore the conditions of your private license requiring source code release or a time limit on commercial use


License Zero developers can optionally offer to relicense a project onto permissive open source terms, and stop selling private licenses for it, for a one-time fee:

Relicense Agreement
a form contract between a License Zero and a developer for sponsored relicensing of a project onto permissive terms


Sometimes License Zero developers will find it easier to sell exceptions to their public license, or close a relicensing deal, by sending the company a quote and taking payment by check or bank transfer:

Waiver Quote
quote a price for a waiver
Relicense Quote
quote a price for relicensing your project on permissive terms

Legacy Licenses

These old licenses are no longer approved for new License Zero projects:

Reciprocal License
superseded by Parity
Noncommercial License
superseded by Prosperity
Permissive License
superseded by Charity