Software is more and more part of the daily job of any researcher.
Before using or sharing software any researcher should deeply think about the main goal of using or sharing such software.
Reading attentively the license attached to a software is the first mandatory step to start this reflection.

Use of third party’s software 

Researchers should understand if the terms of third party’s software license are acceptable and do not diverge from the goal they want to achieve using such software.
This could be the case if researchers do not want to share their own source code, or if licensing the new software to a company or a startup can be foreseen.

For software available on the web the license (i.e. the rights and duties related to the software) is generally accessible in the license file or headers attached with the code or the executable.
Analyzing the terms of the license (e.g. open source, accademic or commercial) allows clarifying what you will have the right, or the obligation to do with the software .
The following page allows a simplified view of the main open source software licenses:
Sharing software
Before sharing software any researcher should clearly identify the objectives of such distribution.
Typical examples are:
          Promote academic research
          Encourage open source
          Make the software known in view of a future commercial exploitation by a startup or other companies
          Acknowledge authorship
In the following sections you will find a summary of the main steps to be done before sharing software: