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I have some Windows shareware applications built with Delphi 7 that have not been updated for almost 10 years. I was thinking to release the source code as open source on a site like sourceforge.

However most of the projects use some commercial libraries that I bought a long time ago. To compile, my projects needs these libraries as *.dcu files which I must include.

In Delphi, dcu files are basically precompiled code, that is linked to the final executable (analogous to .o and .obj files that C compilers produce).

Could I generate these dcu files (from the commercial sources which I have and assume should not be included in the project) and include them in the project so it compiles correctly?

If not do I have any other options?

Note that these are libraries that have not been updated for over a decade, and most of the vendors don't even exist any more.

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You could publish your sources with an open source license.

Then you can publish the binary (which will not be open source) or also a package with with some non open source parts. There is no problem. Just the result it is not open source.

I think in this manner, if one really care about open source, and find useful your code, it could rewrite the missing part, with a open source license. But other users could use your program without problems (if you can distribute the external code / compiled modules / binaries).

Note: you don't need to follow open source license, because the code is your, so also a "viral" license could be used. (but it will create problem to forks, until all code is really open source).

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Could I generate these dcu files (from the commercial sources which I have and assume should not be included in the project) and include them in the project so it compiles correctly?

That entirely depends on that commercial entity who has developed and licensed that software. If they are around, you can go ahead and ask them directly. If they are not around, then it essentially becomes a public domain software, so it can be distributed as such in certain jurisdictions (but you should ideally either research the IT laws in your region, or consult a legal counsel so as to be absolutely certain).

If not do I have any other options?

As I said, if they are not around, you can use the public domain route, but if they are around and don't want to be contacted, I'm afraid there is nothing much you can do! You can't distribute these binaries in a proper and legit way unless you have some idea of the terms and conditions of these commercial licenses.

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    If the company goes out of business, that doesn't mean the software becomes public domain. That is controlled by copyright law, which means some 100 years after the author dies. – vonbrand Feb 19 '16 at 2:53
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    @vonbrand - That is true ony if the company had explicitly specified a license on the software before shutting down. If they did not, the "default" copyright law applies which differs in each jurisdiction. And in some jurisdictions, it can indeed be allowed to go in the public domain. – Prahlad Yeri Feb 19 '16 at 8:12
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    that isn't exactly common. – vonbrand Feb 19 '16 at 23:33

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