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Public License Selector

Build Status

JQuery plugin for easy selection of public licenses.

Read our paper for more details.

Give It a Try

Use the selector directly on Github. You can link to this to always use our latest version.

Used by

In case you use Public License Selector, please let us know. We would love to add your site to this list.


The plugin contains common set of so called public licenses which will make your work publicly available.

Using Bower

bower install public-license-selector --save


The latest version is in the releases branch.

The plugin requires Lo-Dash or Underscore utility library.


<link rel="stylesheet" href="license-selector.css">
<script type="text/javascript" src="license-selector.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">
  $(function() {
    'use strict';
    $('selector').licenseSelector({ ...options... });



Callback to action that should happen after the license is selected. Receives selected license as a first argument.

onLicenseSelected : function (license) {
    $('body').append($('<pre></pre>').text(JSON.stringify(license, null, 4)))

licenseItemTemplate (function|jQuery)

A template function to customize license display in the license list. See the example below. The function takes three arguments:

  1. jQuery object of an <li> element
  2. license object with attributes defined bellow
  3. select function - the function that actually does the license selection. Can be used as onClick handler


JQuery selector specifying a html element where license selector should be attached. Default is 'body'.


Name of the starting question. See to sources for the full list of names. Here are the most useful:

  • 'KindOfContent' (default) is asking about the kind of content (Software or Data)
  • 'DataCopyrightable' jumps straight to data licensing. Use this as a start if you want to choose only licenses for data.
  • 'YourSoftware' jumps to software licensing. The same as above but for software.

showLabels (bool)

Whether or not to show labels for each license.


A list of licenses that will get merged to the predefined license. The merge is done by _.merge so you can use it to add new licenses or to change configuration of the predefined licenses.

    licenses: {
      'abc-license': {
        name: 'NEW license',
        priority: 1,
        available: true,
        url: '',
        description: 'This is new license inserted as a test',
        categories: ['data', 'new'],
        template: function($el, license, selectFunction) {
          var h = $('<h4 />').text(;
            href: license.url,
            target: '_blank'
          $el.append('<p>Custom template function</p>');
              .append('<span>Click here to select license</span>')
      'cc-by': {
        description: 'Modified description ...',
        cssClass: 'featured-license'
      'lgpl-3': {
        available: false // hide the LGPL 3 license
License Attributes
  • string key - The hash key (will be automatically added)
  • string name - Full name of the license
  • bool available - Flag whether the license is visible in the license list
  • unsigned int priority - Sort priority (lower means higher in the license list)
  • string url - Url pointing to the license full text
  • string description - A short description of the license
  • string cssClass - Custom CSS class set on <li> element
  • function|jQuery template - Template used for custom format
  • array[string] categories - A list of arbitrary category names used for filtering in the questions
  • array[string] labels - A list of labels that will be shown for the license. Each labels has a picture or special css style connected so this is not completely arbitrary.

Available Licenses

List of licenses that can be chosen in with default settings.

License name URL
Affero General Public License 3 (AGPL-3.0)
Apache License 2
Artistic License 1.0
Artistic License 2.0
Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL-1.0)
Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY)
Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs (CC-BY-ND)
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC-BY-NC)
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC-BY-NC-ND)
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC-BY-NC-SA)
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA)
Eclipse Public License 1.0 (EPL-1.0)
GNU General Public License 2 or later (GPL-2.0)
GNU General Public License 3 (GPL-3.0)
GNU Library or "Lesser" General Public License 2.1 or later (LGPL-2.1)
GNU Library or "Lesser" General Public License 3.0 (LGPL-3.0)
Mozilla Public License 2.0
Public Domain Dedication (CC Zero)
Public Domain Mark (PD)
The BSD 2-Clause "Simplified" or "FreeBSD" License
The BSD 3-Clause "New" or "Revised" License (BSD)
The MIT License (MIT)


Node environment is not required but strongly recommended for the development

  1. Install Node

     curl -o- | bash
     nvm install stable
     nvm use stable
  2. Clone repository

     git clone
     cd public-license-selector
     make install
  3. Start development server

     make run

Making new release

Task Version
make release v0.0.1 -> v0.0.2 + commit + tag + push
make release-minor v0.0.1 -> v0.1.0 + commit + tag + push
make release-major v0.0.1 -> v1.0.1 + commit + tag + push



Descriptions for some licenses taken from (or inspired by) descriptions at tldrLegal.

Warning / Disclaimer

You must not rely on the information from License Selector as an alternative to legal advice from your attorney or other professional legal services provider.


Licensed under the incredibly permissive MIT license

Copyright © 2015 Institute of Formal and Applied Linguistics (