In short: Docker is basically a container engine which uses the Linux Kernel features like namespaces and control groups to create containers on top of an operating system and automates application deployment on the container. Docker uses Copy-on-write union file system for its backend storage
In depth: Docker is a tool designed to make it easier to create, deploy, and run applications by using containers. Containers allow a developer to package up an application with all of the parts it needs, such as libraries and other dependencies, and deploy it as one package. By doing so, thanks to the container, the developer can rest assured that the application will run on any other Linux machine regardless of any customized settings that machine might have that could differ from the machine used for writing and testing the code.
To make it simple: In a way, Docker is a bit like a virtual machine. But unlike a virtual machine, rather than creating a whole virtual operating system, Docker allows applications to use the same Linux kernel as the system that they're running on and only requires applications be shipped with things not already running on the host computer. This gives a significant performance boost and reduces the size of the application.
License: Docker is open source. This means that anyone can contribute to Docker and extend it to meet their own needs if they need additional features that aren't available out of the box.