Questions tagged [copyleft]

For questions about the copyleft concept (also known as Share-Alike), a concept that promotes or enforces the use of the same or compatible license for derived works.

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Using copyleft software (GPL v2) and distribute it with proprietary software

My case: My app is proprietary full-stack server app that will be distributed as closed source. I want to package my app into an VM. The VM have Ubuntu installed which contains Linux (GPL v2 licensed)...
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  • 197
0 votes
1 answer
34 views

Which license to use for a template that you cannot modify (structure) and must attribute, but which can be used freely : fill with data, images...?

What license to use for a template ? As an example, let's say an MS Access template. I want people to use/share it but only to store data, commercially or not, but isn't it a 'modification' of the ...
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1 vote
3 answers
143 views

Are there any real punishments for intentional malicious behavior in GPL or any other "no-warranties" licensed software?

There haven't been any significant incidents on FOSS software developers turning evil and pumping their software with malicious code. But each person is different, with different intentions. While I ...
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1 vote
1 answer
328 views

Best way to include GPL-licensed code in an MIT-licensed library

I am currently developing a Python library under an MIT license (let's call it mylib). I have, however, come across what may be a minor hurdle. I want to include an optional GPL-licensed dependency. I ...
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8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Using an unmodified GPL library in non-copyleft code

I am writing a piece of software that I plan to distribute. In my code, I use a GPL licensed library. Do I have to apply the GPL to my software even if I did not do any changes to the above mentioned ...
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1 vote
1 answer
114 views

Can I dual license my software that is on Github with a GPLv3 license?

To my understanding, as the maker of the software, I have the right to dual licensing the software as I wish, be it both an open source license and a proprietary closed license at the same time. ...
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0 votes
1 answer
45 views

Is there a copyleft license that applies specifically to assets created using my software?

I'm developing a new kind of graphical library for the web. It's roughly analogous to an animation library such as Spine in that it will ship with an editor for creating graphical assets and a runtime ...
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1 vote
0 answers
49 views

Why does apache software foundation disllow inclusion of LGPL libraries in its projects but allows other "weak copyleft" lecenses?

I just noticed an ASF contributor mentioning this on issue tracker of a library that ASF disallows downstream LGPL dependencies. I traced down ASF's policy to this page: https://www.apache.org/legal/...
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0 votes
0 answers
59 views

How is "GPL-2 | GPL-3" to be interpreted?

A lot of packages in R (and I'm assuming in other languages as well) are licesed as "License: GPL-2 | GPL-3". Others as "GPL (>= 2)" and others as "MIT + file LICENSE"....
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2 votes
1 answer
112 views

Does using an AGPL 3.0 software via its REST API force to disclose source from calling software? [duplicate]

I'm currently developing a CMMS software. To allow pictures and other documents to be stored, I would like to use an Amazon S3-compatible API. To allow this, I was thinking of using Min.io server ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
50 views

Is it possible to have an MIT-licensed directory inside an MPL 2.0 repository?

I'm licensing my project under MPL 2.0, but I have a certain directory for utilities that I don't want to be under copyleft. If I put an MIT license in the said directory, can it override the MPL 2.0 ...
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0 votes
0 answers
46 views

Dual license GPL/non-commercial + commercial SDK license

Looking to release an open-source SDK, all of which uses novel code OR dependencies that are MIT/Apache. For the business model, I would like to sell commercial-use licenses for use with the SDK, ...
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3 votes
1 answer
55 views

AGPLv3, (DNS) Host files, and DNS SaaS

I co-develop a FOSS DNS client and a DNS stub-resolver which builds blocklists based off of the nextdns/metadata repository. Recently, I happened to notice that there's at least one AGPLv3 blocklist (...
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3 votes
2 answers
89 views

License where somebody can distribute modified binaries but if they do I can disassemble them and help myself to the changes

In my freetime I've started to develop this retrocomputing project. The nature of the community is such that as likely as not just going to pass around binaries and modify them as even attempt to ...
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7 votes
2 answers
190 views

Is a principle to distinguish "mere aggregation" vs "larger work" described in GPL FAQ universal?

When talking about "mere aggregation" vs "larger work", i.e. if a work under license X should be considered a separate program or a part of the larger work, GNU GPL license and its ...
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  • 187
2 votes
2 answers
55 views

CC BY-NC-SA "ShareAlike" (source vs binaries)

If I use and adapt a part from the source code of an open-source (Java) project Licensed under CC BY-NC-SA (3.0) into my project : I know the "ShareAlike" requirement means I'll have to ...
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1 vote
1 answer
86 views

Ways to avoid section 10.2 of MPLv2

I am looking for a copyleft license. My issue with GPLv3 is that it is so hard to understand. I don't want to license my work under terms I do not even understand. Fundamentally, I don't understand it ...
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3 votes
2 answers
440 views

Is GPL copyleft triggered by distribution alone?

Would distributing a commercial closed source application along with a GPLd standalone binary, which the closed source application calls trigger the requirement to license whole app under GPL? (For ...
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1 vote
1 answer
171 views

Is copyleft triggered for a backend service with GPLv3 dependency dynamically linked, if the backend exposes public API endpoints for mobile client?

I'm trying to figure out if GPLv3 copyleft is triggered for the following scenario: A company has a backend service written in a dynamically typed programming language. The service has a bunch of ...
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0 votes
2 answers
79 views

Copyleft licenses that do not mandate free distribution?

The GPL tries to guarantee that a piece of software, and all derivative versions of that software, will allow anybody to use, study, modify, and distribute the software however they choose. I think ...
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1 vote
1 answer
120 views

How to use GPL-licensed project with MIT code snippet license correctly?

My company uses WordPress (GPL license), a child theme of a theme and plugins under GPL and just a few code snippets under the MIT license. Because the GPL license is the stronger license (MIT license ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
254 views

Am I violating the terms of the base licenses when I publish my project on GitHub without any license and/or links to authors of used components?

Many developers, students, etc. put their code on GitHub without any links to authors of used components and licenses. I tried find a new job and yesterday HR ask me create Rest API with django + drf ...
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4 votes
2 answers
140 views

What sort of requirements apply to (A)GPL software on an SSH server?

I'm trying to better understand the GNU AGPL. The only thing the AGPL is concerned with beyond the GPL is remote interaction: if you modify the Program, your modified version must prominently offer ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
107 views

Extremely copyleft licenses enforcing redistribution of source code intended for internal use

I would like to release my software under stronger copyleft than GPL (and AGPL), namely I would like to impose the burden of releasing sources of any derivative work, even the work intended for ...
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1 vote
1 answer
162 views

Why doesn't the loading of GPLed JS in the browser count as distribution?

Let's say I have a GPL web app. Somebody forks it, adds some back end changes and hosts it. In theory, the person installing it is the user so they need the modified source code, not the people ...
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33 votes
8 answers
7k views

Under copyleft, why distinguish between "free as in free speech" and "free as in free beer"?

I'm having trouble wrapping my head around why copyleft libre software advocates say they advocate for "free as in free speech" software, rather than monetarily free software, when it seems ...
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1 vote
1 answer
48 views

AFL - obligation to distribute source code of derivative work?

AFL license states that "Licensor agrees to provide a machine-readable copy of the Source Code of the Original Work along with each copy of the Original Work that Licensor distributes. [...] As ...
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8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Does whole project need to be under GPLv3 when using a GPLv3 library

So I am creating an Android app that uses a Java module called core-ui which is licensed under GPLv3. If I am right, GPLv3 imposes to use the same license in my project as the license of the module. ...
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0 votes
1 answer
234 views

Why is the zlib license not considered copyleft?

The final term of the zlib license state This notice may not be removed or altered from any source distribution. However, the Wikipedia page lists Copyleft No The way I understand the above ...
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1 vote
1 answer
48 views

Use of a derivative of aGPL v3 licensed software as a single binary in my product

I intend to release a software product (package) that shall include an executable (binary) that makes use of a library licensed under GPL v3. The executable is not linked (neither statically nor ...
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4 votes
1 answer
379 views

How to use LGPL with embedded firmwares?

I am developing a firmware for embedded devices. The project contains many libraries, plus one main executable that uses all the libraries. Each component is compiled individually. In the final step, ...
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4 votes
1 answer
169 views

Custom Linux distro Copyright and license notices

I am developing a commercial product that ships with a custom embedded Linux distro (similar to Yocto), and am in the process of collecting the copyright and license notices to comply with the GPL ...
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  • 151
-1 votes
1 answer
96 views

What counts as disclosing source for software licenses?

MPL v2, GPL v3 and other licenses alike require giving users access to source code. Having read both licenses, I did not come across specific examples of how to disclose source code, so my question is ...
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0 votes
1 answer
60 views

Is there a more radical approach against copyright than copyleft?

Up until recently I thought that copyleft supporters totally reject the concepts of copyright and content licensing but now I know that they don't totally reject these and their main goal is to ...
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18 votes
3 answers
4k views

Can I publish a GPL source I'm being paid for to develop?

For a popular program licensed under GPL3, a system of plugins exists. The program and the plugins are closely interoperable and exchange large structures of data, so the plugins will necessarily be ...
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6 votes
1 answer
111 views

Acceptable techniques to verify rootfs without circumventing gplv3 terms

GPLv3 has clause to ensure that device manufacturers are not circumventing "freedom to run modified software by users". 3. Protecting Users' Legal Rights From Anti-Circumvention Law states: ...
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2 votes
1 answer
99 views

Can I use a data file covered by MPL in a closed source commercial program?

I would like make use of the certifi library in my project, but I am not allowed to use any copy-left libraries, and certifi is MPL. Really the certifi library just provides a pem file of a bunch of ...
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4 votes
3 answers
128 views

Can I use documentation licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 in an application?

There is a very complex API endpoint with a documentation licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. Due to its complexity, I am considering developing a commercial visual drag & drop editor (single-page web ...
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  • 141
0 votes
1 answer
348 views

How much of my code becomes GPL if I use some GPL code and how different does my code have to be to not be GPL?

I'm new to coding and I've found a lot of useful information regarding this question by reading online, but for whatever reason I simply can't find a simple answer to this. It's about using other ...
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5 votes
2 answers
136 views

Is it okay to combine a proprietary program with a GPL program after distribution?

I want to distribute a combined work containing program X, plugin P and plugin Q. Plugin P has a proprietary license (which allows redistribution) and plugin Q is distributed under the GPL. X has a ...
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4 votes
1 answer
117 views

Copyleft for screenplay that forces film to be free

Consider I wrote a screenplay or book and I want if someone make a film from it, share it with same license that I used (Or another free license that keeps this constraint). Is CC BY-SA okay? Or is ...
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1 vote
1 answer
94 views

Compliance issue with drools-compiler including Eclipse ECJ

We have an dependency to drools-compiler (Version 7.19.0.Final) in one of our microservices: // Drools Compiler :: https://mvnrepository.com/artifact/org.drools/drools-compiler libraryDependencies += &...
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1 vote
1 answer
75 views

What legal considerations needs to be made for distributing a commercial/closed source software which utilizes LGPLv2 open source libraries?

I am developing a Java web application which utilizes Open source libraries with LGPLv2.0 and v2.1 libraries without any modification. For distributing this software commercially, what legal ...
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16 votes
1 answer
4k views

I was told by a vendor who licenses their paid software under GPL v2 that I cannot include the software inside my framework. How so?

They're a pretty decently sized company within the space and I assume they did their due diligence and so, I'm wondering if I misunderstood something. Are you not allowed to include paid software (A) ...
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3 votes
1 answer
187 views

GPL/BSD-like Dual license add special clauses to the GPL

Quick question: I would like to publish a software under a self-written BSD-like license, and under the GPLv3. So far so good. If somebody would fork said project according to the GPL, I would, in my ...
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3 votes
1 answer
156 views

Is an open-source license an incentive for companies to buy an exception?

Assume we have a software which we developed completely ourselves from scratch. We are thinking of making the source code available to others, thus I am pondering what license to use. My question is: ...
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5 votes
1 answer
136 views

Licensing options for libre game built with MonoGame (Ms-PL)

I want to release a game built with the MonoGame framework, which includes the Ms-PL in its license. I want to include source code with my game and impose a strict requirement for others who modify or ...
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10 votes
2 answers
465 views

Is it legal to remove a dependency with a copyleft license from a proprietary project?

Imagine you have a proprietary project (non open source), and by mistake you added a dependency to a library with a strong copyleft license. You have already distributed your code. And you realize ...
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2 votes
0 answers
82 views

Licensing auto-generated code under MPL 2.0?

I am writing a specialized binary file parser using Kaitai Struct. In brief, the file formats are described in YAML documents according to a custom spec called KSY, which are then passed to a code ...
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12 votes
1 answer
2k views

Quoting GPL licensed text in presentation slides

There is an open source project licensed under the GPL v2. It does also contain textual files (JSON configuration examples). I would like to put those texts on slides in a presentation of mine. Does ...
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