|Matthew Dublin is a senior writer at Genome Technology.|
A PLoS Computational Biology paper by a team from Harvard Medical School and the University of California, Berkeley's School of Law addresses the challenges of navigating the complex legal landscape of software licensing.
The aim of their guide is to better enable researchers with their own software to engage with their institutions' tech transfer office.
The paper provides an overview of various types of software licenses, such as proprietary licensing, free and open source software licensing, and hybrid software licensing. Choosing the right software license is also covered as well as how to actually apply a license to your software.
Below is a schematic representation of license directionality:
The authors of the paper are members of the SBGrid.org, a consortium of scientific software developers that act as middlemen between developers and end-users of lab-generated software tools.