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When starting a new project in the Tizen Studio, you are given two options:

  1. Start with a template project
  2. Start with a sample project

The sample projects (like several watches, several simple apps, etc.) all seem to begin life with a text file titled NOTICE:

Copyright (c) 2012 Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.
Except as noted, this software is licensed under Flora License, Version 1.
Please, see the LICENSE.Flora file for Flora License, Version 1 terms and conditions.

There is also a file called LICENSE.Flora which contains the full text of the Flora license.

The template projects, on the other hand, are not generated with any licensing information. They're also working projects but they only do something simple like print "Hello World" or something like that.

My interpretation is that the sample projects should not be reused or adapted without adhering to the Flora license. Is this a correct interpretation?

  • For what it's worth, the "Flora License" seems to be very close to Apache 2.0. I haven't done an analysis to see if there are any differences other than the name. – Philip Kendall Apr 19 at 21:04
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The Flora license is a permissive open source license that is comparable to the Apache 2.0 license.

The material difference between those licenses is in the patent license they contain, because the patent license in the Flora license appears to be restricted to software running on Tizen products.

The Flora licence, like the Apache license, has a few conditions:

  1. You must include a copy of the license, with an appropriate indication which parts of the software fall under that license
  2. Modified source files must have a clear indication that you changed them. This is usually done by adding your own copyright line to the existing ones.
  3. You must retain, in the source code, all copyright, patent, trademark, and attribution notices, except those notices that refer to deleted code.
  4. If there is a "NOTICE" text file, then you must include a readable copy of the attribution notices contained within such NOTICE file, except those notices that refer to deleted code, in at least one of the following places:
    • within a NOTICE text file;
    • within the source code or documentation, if you distribute that together with any binaries; or,
    • within a display generated by the software, if and wherever such third-party notices normally appear.

The license explicitly allows the code you write to have a different license.

My interpretation is that the sample projects should not be reused or adapted without adhering to the Flora license. Is this a correct interpretation?

Yes, in so far that that applies to any third-party code. But adhering to the Flora license is not all that difficult or onerous and it does not prevent you from using a completely different license (even a closed source one) for the product you build from one of those sample projects.

The template projects are more troubling for me. Most likely, those template projects are also subject to copyright law and the fact that they don't carry a license means that you have no rights at all, especially not to build upon them.

That effectively means that you cannot legally start with a template project. If you plan to do some serious work based of a template project, I recommend you get into contact with Tizen to clarify the intended copyright license of a template project, because they are giving a mixed message by providing those templates without a copyright license.

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  • If the template is just a bare-bones hello world app, it might not be copyrightable at all. I'd be far more concerned about the Flora-license being technology-specific and explicitly withholding patent grants – it doesn't seem to be a free or open source license. – amon Apr 20 at 8:39
  • @amon, the bar on getting copyright protection is pretty low and the average HelloWorld application does meet that bar. – Bart van Ingen Schenau Apr 20 at 8:47
  • @amon, some of the major open-source licenses (MIT, BSD, GPLv2) do not include a patent license at all, so I think calling a license that has a limited patent license non-free goes a bit too far. I agree that it would have been nicer if the patent license was more broadly applicable (in which case, Tizen could have just used the Apache license). – Bart van Ingen Schenau Apr 20 at 8:50
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    @BartvanIngenSchenau Thank you for the great detailed response. I will attempt to get in touch with someone from the Tizen team, and see if the issue with the template projects can be clarified. I would assume their intention is "It's a template you can do whatever you want with it"... But it would be nice to have clarity. Marking as answered, thank you! – skelliam Apr 20 at 17:26

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