Open-source licensing is complicated. Today, programs are 20 percent original code on top of 80 percent previously open-sourced code. To reduce the licensing complexities, GitHub has open sourced Licensed.
Licensed is an internal tool from GitHub, used to automate some of GitHub’s open-source projects licensing process. It will help developers efficiently use their code’s open-source licensing by spotting potential problems with a program’s dependency license early in its development cycle.
Licensed works in any Git repository, by finding, caching, and checking license metadata for dependencies. It can detect dependencies from multiple language types and package managers across multiple projects in a single repository. This flexibility allows it to work equally well for a repository holding thousands of projects as it would for a repository containing a single project.
This newly open-source program operates on the concepts of “applications”. An application is defined as the combination of a source location and a cache directory. A configuration file is used to specify one or more application you’re checking for licensing concerns.
Licensed has already been proven to work well at GitHub. Read more…