Proprietary software license is used by software developers to claim ownership of their work and the software they develop, usually in order to commercialise it. It helps the software developer to stay in control of how the software is used and who uses it.

If you write new software, you automatically own the copyright. However, the proprietary software license allows software businesses to monetize their product by limiting access to it, so that only the users who have paid for it can use it. All commercially available software is under a proprietary license, as simply owning the copyright to a piece of software doesn’t offer enough protection.

The opposite of proprietary software is open-source software. Open-source means that the software code is open to the public, so that anyone can view and modify the software as they see fit. The software developer has given up their right to own it. There are also several public software licenses that mostly allow anyone to modify the code, with some limitations of varying degrees.

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