A Large Scale Study of License Usage on GitHub

TitleA Large Scale Study of License Usage on GitHub
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsVendome, C
Secondary Title2015 IEEE/ACM 37th IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering
Number of Volumes2
Date Published05/2015
Keywordsgithub, license

The open source community relies upon licensing
in order to govern the distribution, modification, and reuse of
existing code. These licenses evolve to better suit the requirements
of the development communities and to cope with unaddressed
or new legal issues. In this paper, we report the results of a large
empirical study conducted over the change history of 16,221 open
source Java projects mined from GitHub. Our study investigates
how licensing usage and adoption changes over a period of ten
years. We consider both the distribution of license usage within
projects of a rapidly growing forge and the extent that new
versions of licenses are introduced in these projects.


14.9% of projects have a license file.

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