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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6 votes
2 answers
229 views

Is the Open Gaming License a type of open source license?

Wizards of the Coast (publishers of the Dungeons and Dragons desktop role playing game) have for years operated under the Open Gaming License. The License: This License applies to any Open Game ...
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3 votes
0 answers
143 views

Blender addon interface with non-GPL compatible renderer through OpenGL driver using system library exception?

Why I'm making a 3D rendering addon for Blender which is GPL 2/3 code that needs to communicate with non-GPL compatible library that does the rendering. I need some of this communication to be as fast ...
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2 votes
2 answers
92 views

Can I license certain components of my software as MIT, but have the overall software be Copyleft?

I'm considering releasing the source code of an App as Copyleft, but would like some individual components (just not the core project) to be used under a more permissive MIT license. How would this ...
  • 163
3 votes
2 answers
99 views

Is AGPLv3 or MPLv2 better for an open-source API meant to be integrated into closed-source customer APIs?

Description: This open-source code is an API (let's call it X-API), which is meant to be used by businesses running their own closed-source APIs The goal: Let other companies/individuals interact ...
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4 votes
1 answer
184 views

Copyleft licensed part inside permissive software

Assume somebody writes software and distributes it to customers. Since any dependency under a copyleft license (such as the GPL) would require putting the whole software under a copyleft license, ...
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5 votes
1 answer
383 views

Software licence description doesn't match AGPL licence limitations

In my research of AGPL I have found that creating REST API around AGPL licensed library is enough to make it communication at arms length and as such it bypasses the need to publish all of your ...
1 vote
0 answers
58 views

Licensing in a scripting language - Copyleft

I am trying to understand when and where the copyleft of GPL v2|v3 applies, similar to this OS question. The way I understand it, is that if a derivative work is created AND distributed, copyleft ...
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0 votes
1 answer
110 views

How can Apple distribute Bash (and other GPL v2 software) with macOS? Is it not a derivative work?

And how could they license Darwin as APSL if based on GPL v2 software? See
  • 119
2 votes
1 answer
91 views

Does the Common Public License (CPL-1.0) require dynamic linking to keep source code undisclosed?

I'm looking into the rules of the Common Public License and am wondering how far it's copyleft-ness extends. AFAIK: With LGPL you can keep the library you wish to use in a separate .dll or .so, ...
  • 123
1 vote
1 answer
77 views

Using Mongo DB in my embedded device as a backend service

I am writing a software for commercial purposes that reads and parses text files for further retrieval and analysis. To store the imported text files I would prefer to use Mongo DB. This DB had been ...
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0 votes
0 answers
62 views

Does the Reciprocal Public Licence require notifications only to be given to the first original licensor?

If person A creates a work under RPL-1.5 and person B creates a work based on person A's work, person B has to notify person A with the changes. If person A then uses these changes and continues to ...
3 votes
1 answer
69 views

Copyleft/share-alike non-attribution licenses?

Is there any existing license can a person can use to distribute a document that allows reuse, derivative works, and free distribution, under the condition of it being licensed under the same or a ...
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7 votes
1 answer
2k views

Need samples of copyleft notices

I would like to make my lecture notes free, and available to all, but would like to be given credit if others use part of it. Should it be copyleft, GPL, CC, or others? What would be a proper notice ...
16 votes
2 answers
3k views

Can I copy some AGPL code to my AGPL project?

Let's say Alice has Project A, which is licenced under the AGPL, and Bob has Project B, which is also licenced under AGPL. Bob sees a function in Project A that looks very useful, and wants to copy it ...
1 vote
1 answer
78 views

Which open-source license allows everything except warranty?

The most permissive liscense known to me, Creative Commons Zero disallows patenting of the source but I would like to grant all permissions except warranty.
2 votes
1 answer
185 views

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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0 votes
1 answer
38 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 ...
1 vote
3 answers
212 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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
825 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
3k 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 ...
  • 89
1 vote
1 answer
314 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. ...
0 votes
1 answer
68 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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
58 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/...
0 votes
0 answers
94 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"....
2 votes
1 answer
517 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 ...
-1 votes
2 answers
89 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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
108 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, ...
3 votes
1 answer
66 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 (...
3 votes
2 answers
103 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
367 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 ...
  • 187
2 votes
2 answers
76 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
102 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 ...
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
536 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 ...
  • 115
1 vote
1 answer
318 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
135 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
219 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 ...
-1 votes
2 answers
433 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
207 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 ...
-1 votes
2 answers
168 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
221 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 ...
  • 383
35 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
55 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. ...
1 vote
1 answer
353 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
126 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
614 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, ...
4 votes
1 answer
262 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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1 vote
1 answer
358 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
67 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 ...
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 ...