Sorry for the title, I don't master the subject enough to find a clear one.

I see that free licenses come with a "same license" and "disclose source" mentions, like stated here.

For instance, I have some software code under the GNU GPL v2 license on github. If some evil developer want to steal my code and use it in a closed-source software, how could I be aware of it, and how could I prove it since I don't have access to his source code ?

  • Possible duplicate of opensource.stackexchange.com/questions/4693/… – Zimm i48 Nov 19 '16 at 10:20
  • This seems like an enforcement issue on your hands - protecting your GPL code from being used in closed source software. How you'd go about handling that, I'm not too sure. Most major companies do have some moral sanity when it comes to these things, and enforcing things would likely involve litigation, which becomes costly, and in the long run, unfortunately not worth it. – Zizouz212 Nov 24 '16 at 1:51

For instance, I have some software code under the GNU GPL v2 license on github. If some evil developer want to steal my code and use it in a closed-source software, how could I be aware of it, and how could I prove it since I don't have access to his source code ?

You cannot and you should not care. The ransom of success is that you may get a few unethical abuses and a lot of free riders. That's OK: free software is about freedom. If someone evil is breaking the law secretly in this case eventually this will come back to bite them. Or not. You cannot deal with unethical behavior that you do not know about and should not waste time on this.

For instance, I have some software code under the GNU GPL v2 license on github. If some evil developer want to steal my code and use it in a closed-source software, how could I be aware of it, and how could I prove it since I don't have access to his source code ?

In a case like this there is really no way to find out where your code is used other than actually inspecting the suspected software, perhaps with a tool like this one: www.binaryanalysis.org

  • But inspecting proprietary software is often illegal. To prove that someone has committed a crime, you'd have to commit one yourself too. – Oskar Skog Mar 7 '17 at 19:24
  • Would you care to back that statement up with something, like a court ruling in that direction? We're not exactly talking about reverse engineering a product to start making clones. – Mans Gunnarsson Mar 7 '17 at 20:27
  • Law isn't exactly my strongest subject, but isn't it commonly mentioned in the EULA? Why would an exception be allowed. – Oskar Skog Mar 7 '17 at 20:45
  • 1
    There's a lot of stuff mentioned in EULA:s that does not seem to be enforceable in many legislations. But I'm not a lawyer. You should consult one if you're actually in a situation where you have found something suspicious through a method that might break the EULA. – Mans Gunnarsson Mar 8 '17 at 8:42

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