Hackers need to understand the software licenses that apply to source code that is downloadable from the internet. I will frequently grab code from here or there to try out. It is important to remember to check the license if you intend to do anything of significance with copied code.
I had to brush up on my license acronyms today, here’s my summary:
GPL – “Copy Left”
Source code can be modified and redistributed, but deriviative works must also be Open Source.
BSD – “Copy Center”
1. Contain original copyright
2. The original contributors cannot be used to endorse or promote derivative works
3. Contain liability disclaimer that the software is provided “As Is”
MIT – BSD WIthout the prohibition on using the copyright holder’s name for endorsment.
Wikipedia was the most useful source for summarizing the licenses.