I have a open source application (written in PHP), Which depends on daemon/service process to do certain tasks. This open source application communicates with daemon/service process using socket.

Should I open source the daemon/service process also ?

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    What sort of communications take place over that socket?
    – MadHatter
    Jan 20, 2020 at 14:49
  • @MadHatter, thanks for your response. In socket, I send some command and params to do a certain task, Which cant be done by the PHP application. Certain tasks needs some special permission, some special workloads, which are getting done by daemon process.
    – Mani
    Jan 21, 2020 at 10:15
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    Is it something that, ceteris paribus, could be done equally well by a simple fork-and-exec call into userspace, possibly using sudo to acquire the privilege required? If not, it would be helpful to understand why not. Please note that I'm not suggesting you need to do it that way, it's just helpful to understand if you're achieving the exact equivalent of sudo-fork-and-exec via other means.
    – MadHatter
    Jan 21, 2020 at 11:31
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    @DavidSchwartz All comments and answers on this site are opinions as well and don't have any basis in law, unless you can provide a legal citation for some kind of relevant case. I.e. your opinion is just yet one more opinion.
    – Brandin
    Feb 3, 2020 at 8:01

1 Answer 1


We can't answer with just what you've told us. That the two pieces of software interoperate over a socket is irrelevant. What matters is whether the software you are trying to decide whether you must open source contains sufficient protectable expression taken from the open source application. That they communicate over a socket tells us nothing about what elements of the open source program are or are not in the service process.

If they only communicate over a socket and no protectable expression that came from the open source project appears in the daemon/service process, then there is no requirement that you open source the deamon/service process.

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