Questions tagged [closed-source]

For questions about closed-source software and how it relates to open source.

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50
votes
4answers
18k views

Someone open-sourced an un-open-source project

Someone (Person_A) is sharing an open source project (Project_A) on GitHub. The Project_A is a decompiled version of another project (Project_B). But the original Project_B is not open source, and ...
28
votes
4answers
8k views

Can I use my own GPL'ed code in my closed source program?

Let's say that program A was made by me, with me being the sole copyright holder. If I license this program under the GPL-3.0, can I use that program in program B that is closed source?
17
votes
2answers
234 views

What to do when proprietary code is found in your open source project?

We have an open source project and suspect one contributor has submitted code that is not their own and is under a closed source copyright. We know we have to remove the code. Also I assume anyone ...
15
votes
1answer
25k views

Can I use a Apache v2 licensed driver for a commercial project without revealing sources of the project?

I am building a project that will be commercialised. One of the library I use is licensed under Apache v2. To my understanding, if I modify the library, I need to give the source of the library with ...
13
votes
1answer
719 views

What are the main steps to convert a currently closed source project into an open source one?

Given the case of a closed source project that has been developed for some time: What are the main things that should be done in order to ease its transition to a open source development? What I've ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Can I dynamically call a LGPL/GPL software in my closed-source application?

This question was originally posted by marcgg on Stack Overflow (second link might be visible to 10k+ only), but was removed there due to being off-topic. It has been preserved here in light of this ...
10
votes
2answers
513 views

Is there any recourse when an "Open Source" project has a closed-source core?

I have come across a Java project licensed under Apache 2.0, but there's a fair bit of behavior locked away in an internal package that isn't checked into the project's repository (though the compiled ...
10
votes
2answers
363 views

Are open source projects growing faster relative to closed source ones?

Are open source projects growing faster (in terms of the number of users and developers) relative to closed source ones? Are there any metrics measuring this?
10
votes
1answer
5k views

Is it legal to Bundle OpenJDK + HotSpot with a closed source application?

As per my understanding, OpenJDK itself is licensed under GNU General Public License, version 2, with the Classpath Exception which should be no issue for bundling with closed source application. ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Own LGPL code in proprietorial project

I've written a library that I use in closed-source project. After a short discuss with my boss we have decided that this library can be useful for many others and we made this library open source ...
9
votes
2answers
259 views

On what grounds can companies bring open source projects into closed source?

There are applications that are widely used out there (just think of PHP, MySQL, etc...). What would happen if the organisations behind them pull this software back into closed source? On what ...
7
votes
1answer
13k views

Use of BSD-3 Clause license and python software license for proprietary use

I am making a software in python programming language which uses libraries licensed under BSD-3 clause. Is it necessary for me to show my source code to users? Also can I restrict the distribution of ...
6
votes
1answer
344 views

Use of closed-source library in LGPL library

I would like to open source my software library under the LGPL license. But I'm not sure if I'm allowed to use that license, as my library uses another library which is currently closed sourced. By ...
5
votes
1answer
768 views

BSD-3 Closed Source Attribution

I'm having some confusion with the BSD-3 license language. I am going to close source a bsd-3 project and make modifications to it. I will not be redistributing the code. It will be used as a SaaS. ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Using Qt Designer to create UI design for closed source application

Am I allowed to create a closed-source application using the LGPL licensing scheme for Qt if I use Qt Designer to generate its user interface? I originally thought this was possible until I saw this ...
5
votes
1answer
285 views

Effect of 'download separately' on GPL linking

Suppose I have Java jar-files which I provide to my customers under a commercial closed-source license. But my jar-files depend on a few jar-files released under the GPLv2 (without any special GNU ...
5
votes
1answer
439 views

Using dynamically linked library with BSD 3-clause License

If we are loading a closed source - dll dynamically in the source code which comes under three clause BSD license then is it mandatory to change license of my closed source dll to three clause BSD ...
5
votes
1answer
64 views

Does learning boilerplate code from a project with a restrictive license make my own work derivative?

I have an application I want to put my own license on. In order to get my application started, I wrestled with boilerplate code issues I was not able to find answers for online. When I tried launching ...
5
votes
1answer
703 views

What license to use for GitHub repository containing trademark/copyright protected images?

I just can't seem to find an answer to this. Normally I assign MIT License to all of my GitHub repositories, but so far they have only included code that I have personally written. I think that MIT ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Legal issues about embedded Linux

I am trying to modernize a current microcontroller solution with a new one based on embedded Linux (Debian), running on Allwinner A10 chips. I plan to make a Linux app doing all user-interface stuff, ...
4
votes
1answer
793 views

If I use a mobile app that fetches data from a website under GPLv2+ is the app also under GPL?

I am currently programming a mobile app that is not under the GPL. However, the mobile app correspond with a website that is under GPL Version 2 or higher. In my case the mobiel app send request via ...
4
votes
2answers
131 views

How to protect communities from devolving into "open source in name only"?

There are many open source communities that provide good and effective tools and ecosystems for their users. In fact, there is not doubt that the best programming tools available in this age, follow a ...
4
votes
1answer
233 views

Is Google's Chrome web browser truly open source?

I have been trying to understand if Google's Chrome web browser is truly open source. Some people claim that it is, while others claim that it integrates binary blobs for which the source is ...
4
votes
1answer
409 views

Use of GPL licensed driver in commercial project

In a commercial project for our customer, I would like to install a driver on all target machines. The driver is on sourceforge (http://com0com.sourceforge.net/). The website states that: The Null-...
4
votes
2answers
333 views

Can a Proprietary Application Exchange Data with a GPL'd Program?

I am considering extending a proprietary application so it communicates with an open source program. This open source program is very similar to Matlab. The user can input commands to execute ...
4
votes
1answer
153 views

What does it mean for a closed source project to have a permissive licence (CC BY-NC)?

Earlier today I was installing a small free program hosted on GitHub. The End-User License Agreement shown when installing had a few things, but what stood out was: [...] is licensed under a Creative ...
4
votes
2answers
862 views

Can I distribute GPL software built by a custom compiler? [duplicate]

The license (I pick GPLv3 as an example) says: The “Corresponding Source” for a work in object code form means all the source code needed to generate, install, and (for an executable work) run the ...
3
votes
2answers
300 views

Can I open source a closed source project by transcoding/transcompiling its source-code, so it's completely different?

How far I can go in order to open source the project which is based on closed/commercial project where the whole source code (assuming the access is there) has been converted into different state or ...
3
votes
2answers
612 views

Can a closed-source software be free

I saw some closed-source software (for Windows), which license explicitly allows to do everything with it, including disassembling, decompiling and modification, but no source is distributed, though ...
3
votes
1answer
603 views

License to disallow distribution in closed source software, but allow exceptions made by owner?

Is there a license (similar to the GNU v3 software license) that forbids the usage of an open-source software in closed-source software, but except parties that receive approval by the original owner (...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Bypass LGPL license using wrapper library

I wanted to use a library which is licensed under LGPL (free, only for open source projects). I wanted to use that in a commercial project. Is that possible that I can develop an open source wrapper ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Apache License 2.0-licensed code included in commercial closed source software

I spent an hour looking for an answer to this question, although I would think a quite common situation, I did not get a totally clear answer to my specific case: So I am selling a (P)roduct which is ...
3
votes
2answers
482 views

Can a copyleft, GPLv3 project be closed by its copyright holder?

Let's say a private company released a popular software product under a copyleft (GPLv3) license. It's business model was offering consulting services and premium features for a fee, which in turn ...
3
votes
2answers
121 views

Using GLPv3 for open-source library modules that can be extended and linked by closed-source libraries and binaries

I'm developing a pretty big open-source project which will require multiple technology stacks. My hope is that this project will be primarily community-based, which means the community should be able ...
3
votes
2answers
278 views

How do you sell a hardware product that uses the linux kernel?

I would like to create a Linux based OS for a VR headset that I'm developing. From what I understand, the Linux kernel uses the GPL-2 license which allows for commercial use but it also requires you ...
3
votes
1answer
6k views

Can I use angular-material in any commercial project ? Is there any cost for that?

I have using angular material for quite few days. Now I am planning to develop a commercial software using angular material (https://material.angularjs.org/). While going through the license section ...
3
votes
1answer
64 views

Recreating assets from closed source projects

Recently I'm working on a game, where I have created some asset from closed source project. To be honest I actually re-created assets similar identical to hill climb. Now if I use those or I use ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

IPC between open-source and closed-source applications

We have two applications developed by two teams. One is open-source under GPL, another closed-source without any possibility to open the code. Also there's a requirement to implement some kind of API ...
3
votes
1answer
202 views

Subclassing, Unity, and the LGPL

I want to release a package on the Unity Asset Store. Based on this answer, it looks like the best option for my situation would be LGPLv3. However, after doing plenty of research, I've stumbled ...
3
votes
2answers
202 views

Using reverse-engineered closed protocol in open source software

The question is a partial derivative of this one: Someone open-sourced an un-open-source project Here is the situation: There is a device and a proprietary software to manage that device. They are ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Finding open source in closed-source code?

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
120 views

What do I need the company I work for to do to open source a program I wrote for them?

I would like to open-source a program I wrote for my employer. As I understand it, this is a “work for hire” (at least in the United States) since I wrote the code for them and on their time. This ...
2
votes
1answer
144 views

Could the GPL "infect" my Code if the libraries I used violated the GPL?

Let's assume I use in my closed source a library A which is by the Author claimed as a non GPL license (e.g. MIT, LGPL or even a paid license). Now somebody finds out, that one of the used library in ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

Which licence do I choose, publishing a previously closed-source product?

From 2001 thru 2019, a company "A" that I own and I am the CEO of with HQ in EU, had a commercial software product for sale on the international market. We issued perpetual per-site licences to what ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

Incorporating closed-source derivative into GPL code

I have a closed-source project. I am the copyright holder. Can I incorporate parts from my closed-source project into an open-source project without running into legal issues commercially using my ...
2
votes
1answer
659 views

How did memtest86 transition from GPL to closed-source?

Memtest86, a popular software for RAM diagnostics, was initially developed as open source (GPLv2). Version 3 was forked into a separate project, Memtest86+, also distributed under GPL terms. Source ...
2
votes
1answer
294 views

Bundling GPL script with closed source script

So what I'm planning to do is to create a script which one part calls (via Python's subprocess) external open source script licensed under GPL-2. To make it easier for users I'd like to distribute ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

Usage of closed-source software loaded into GPL software as a plugin

I'm distributing a device (ARMv8 server) which runs GNU GPL licensed software. I've changed this software so that it is able to load any plugin in the form of *.so file. I've open-sourced this feature ...
2
votes
1answer
89 views

Can I sell closed source plugins that interface with a GPL v2 software which is open sourced? [duplicate]

Basically, I have an idea for some software based on an Open Sourced application. If I was to build an application based off of that, and sell my plugins, would this be a breach of terms? This is the ...
2
votes
1answer
123 views

Distributing GPLv2 code and ENTIRELY SEPARATE closed-source software (no interaction between them)

Do I have to GPL all software in a .deb package just because it contains some GPL(v2 in this case) code, even if these things have nothing to do with each other except being distributed in the same ...