开源许可证的选择:挑战和影响因素
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通讯作者:

周明辉,E-mail:zhmh@pku.edu.cn

基金项目:

国家重点研发计划项目(2018YFB1004201);国家自然科学基金项目(61825201),鸣谢鹏城实验室提供计算基础设施


Selection of open source license: challenges and influencing factors
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National Key Research and Development Plan of China (2018YFB1004201); National Natural Science Foundation of China (61825201); Acknowledgement to Peng Cheng Laboratory for providing computing infrastructure.

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    摘要:

    开发者通常会为其开源代码选择不同的开源许可证来约束其使用条件,以期能有效地保护知识产权和维持软件的长远发展.然而,现有的开源许可证种类繁杂,开发者难以了解不同开源许可证间的差异,并且难以通过现有的开源许可证选择工具做出合适的选择——其使用要求开发者了解开源许可证相关条款并明确自己的业务需求.学术界虽然对开源许可证已有研究,但是对开发者选择开源许可证的实际困难并无系统的分析进而缺乏清晰的认知.有鉴于此,本文旨在从开源开发者角度出发,理解其选择开源许可证的困难,并通过分析开源许可证的组成要素和影响开源许可证选择的因素,为开源许可证的选择提供借鉴.本文设计问卷并随机调研了参与GitHub开源项目的200名开发者.通过对53个反馈结果采用主题分析,发现开发者选择开源许可证通常面临条款内容太复杂和考虑因素不确定这两方面的困难.通过分析GitHub上3,346,168个代码仓库中使用最广泛的10种开源许可证,本文建立了包含十个维度的开源许可证框架.通过借鉴计划行为理论,本文从行为态度、主观规范和知觉行为控制三个方面提出了影响许可证选择的九大要素,通过开发者调研验证了它们的相关性,并进一步通过拟合次序回归模型验证了项目特征与许可证选择的关系.本文的研究结果能加深开发者对开源许可证内容的理解,为开发者结合自身需求选择合适的许可证提供决策支持,并为实现基于用户需求的开源许可证选择工具提供借鉴.

    Abstract:

    Developers usually select different open source licenses to restrain the conditions of using open source software, in order to protect intellectual property rights effectively and maintain the long-term development of the software. However, the open source community has a wide variety of licenses available, developers generally find it difficult to understand the differences between different open source licenses. And existing open source license selection tools require developers to understand the terms of the open source license and identify their business needs, which makes it hard for developers to make the right choice. Although there has been extensive research on open source license, there is no systematic analysis on the actual difficulties of the developers to choose the open source license, thus lacking a clear understanding, for this reason, this paper attempts to understand the difficulties faced by open source developers in choosing open source licenses, analyze the components of open source license and the factors influecing open source license selection, and to provide references for developers to choose open source licenses. In this paper, we conduct a random survey of 200 developers that participated in the open source projects on GitHub through questionnaires. With a Thematic Synthesis on the 53 feedbacks, we found that developers often faced difficulties in the selection of open source licenses in terms of complexity of terms and unknown considerations. By analyzing the ten open source licenses most widely used in 3,346,168 repositories on GitHub, we created a framework of open source licenses that contains 10 dimensions. Drawing on the Theory of Planned Behavior, we put forward 9 factors that affect license selection from three aspects:behavior attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavior control. The relevance of those factors was verified by developer survey. Furthermore, the relationship between project characteristics and license selection is verified by fitting the order regression model. The results of our research can deepen developers' understanding of the contents of open source licenses, provide decision support for developers to select appropriate licenses based on their own needs and provide a reference for implementing open source license selection tools based on developers' needs.

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吴欣,武健宇,周明辉,王志强,杨丽蕴.开源许可证的选择:挑战和影响因素.软件学报,,():0

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  • 收稿日期:2020-05-09
  • 最后修改日期:2020-07-13
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  • 在线发布日期: 2021-01-15
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