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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17
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the arguments for considering dynamic links to constitute derivative works?

The status of programs which are dynamically linked with Copyleft licensed binaries (such as a .dll) is contentious. I have created two questions for each side of the debate. The other can be found ...
25
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4answers
2k views

What are the arguments for considering dynamic links not to constitute derivative works?

The status of programs which are dynamically linked with Copyleft licensed binaries (such as a .dll) is contentious. I have created two questions for each side of the debate. The other can be found ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

So the GPL doesn't restrict the creator of the software in any way?

In another thread I started (Redhat buys Ansible), I am trying to figure out the economic value of a company transaction with respect to GPL'ed software. A few of the answers suggest that the owners ...
16
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2answers
5k views

What are software dependencies, and what are the implications of FLOSS dependencies for other projects?

How could I best explain software dependencies to a non-software, non-tech person? What are software dependencies, such as package dependencies or linking dependencies? And why does it matter to ...
27
votes
4answers
12k views

What's the difference between permissive and copyleft licenses?

I've heard both terms thrown around, but I'm a bit unclear as to how the licenses differ. How is copyleft different to a permissive license? Is copyleft just the standard for open source licenses?
31
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2answers
6k views

Do you violate the GPL if you provide source code that cannot be compiled?

In a recent question on programmers.SE†, it was asked whether a project is open source if it provides some source code but doesn't make it clear how to actually compile it. Consensus is that it'...
17
votes
4answers
490 views

Does a host application's license apply to plug-ins written for it?

This was prompted by another question which reminded of a past experience. Consider the following: An open-source project supports a plug-in architecture The project is released under a copyleft ...
28
votes
3answers
2k views

What do I need to share if I include CC-BY-SA artwork in my software?

CC-BY-SA is a Creative Commons license with a copyleft clause - if you derive something from it, you must also provide the derivative under the same license if you distribute it. The relevant clause ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

Someone is violating the copyleft license, they are refusing to give me the source code even though they are required to!

This person has a piece of open source code which is released under a copyleft license. They are required to give me this code, but numerous times they have refused. I am stuck because I need this ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Which standard copyleft licences can be applied to Unity assets?

I would like to release a framework for Unity under a copyleft licence but have some concerns. My goal is for people to be able to use the framework to develop their own projects and only be required ...
4
votes
3answers
249 views

Is linking a correct proxy for derivative work determination in (copyleft) FOSS licenses?

I tend to use these simple tests to determine if the copyleft terms of a third-party project apply to the calling/reusing code: if the calling code is linking (statically or dynamically) with GPL-...
6
votes
3answers
390 views

How to deal with copy-left in source-code history prior open-sourcing?

Given the following situation: A software project is released as open-source under a non-invasive license (e.g., BSD 2/3 clause, Apache 2, ...). During the process, the entire Git repository is made ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

What copyleft license should I use for my website's HTML/CSS/JavaScript?

If I made a somewhat complicated website, and I want it (the layout/JavaScript) to be under a copyleft license (but not the text), which license should I use? I want to pull others' forks so I have ...
6
votes
1answer
196 views

In which cases must I relicense my product under the CC BY-SA license?

Because copyright law can encompass a huge range of scenarios and be unclear to talk about in abstract terms, I'm going to give concrete examples. I understand CC BY is a permissive license. All it ...
4
votes
1answer
244 views

Under AGPLv3+ do I need to provide the source for secondary applications?

I am working on a central application (AGPL3+) that will control and/or provide access to multiple secondary applications, mostly on other servers. It is trivial for me to provide the source for the ...
4
votes
1answer
147 views

Is there a license that "forces leaks", so to speak?

I am looking for a license that "forces leaks", so to speak. What I mean by that is: A copyright holder must convey a copy of derivatives works they made using the license to anyone who requests it. ...
13
votes
5answers
716 views

Appropriate licence for later merging back

I am a library developer. I want to open source it soon, but I'm not sure what license will work best for me. My main concerns are: I want to provide a commercial license for somebody who is willing ...
7
votes
2answers
682 views

Are there examples of proprietary software that functionally depends on copylefted software?

This question is a follow-up on: Are there examples of proprietary software that functionally depends on free software? Please note that this is not a duplicate, as "copylefted" (and some more, see ...
33
votes
8answers
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 ...
18
votes
3answers
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 ...
24
votes
2answers
3k views

Must a company disclose proprietary source code if it violates a copyleft license?

What is the typical situation when some company is found to violate the some copyleft free software license and refuses to fix it? Can the company then be forced to disclose any proprietary code that ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

If my R package uses GPL packages, does mine automatically inherit GPL?

I've built an R package that uses a mix of libraries licensed under GPL-2 and GPL-3. From what I've read, because of this dependency, my package will also have to be GPL. See here: https://www.gnu....
9
votes
1answer
1k views

How does the GPL's linking restriction apply when using a proprietary library with GPL'd interpreted code?

General description: Can I create Python software that will dynamically link against a closed-source library that has a C API (the Python interpreter is not copyleft) and will also utilize a GPL ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

If I use a public API endpoint that has its source code licensed under AGPL in my app, do I need to disclose my source?

If there's a public API server that has it's source code licensed with AGPL, and if I make an app that uses these public endpoints in some part of it, (entire application doesn't necessarily depend on ...
11
votes
1answer
414 views

Why is the Reciprocal Public License OSI-approved but not FSF-approved?

The Reciprocal Public License (RPL) is interesting in that it is the only license both OSI-approved and not FSF-approved. It is a copyleft license similar to GPL but with a "reciprocal" clause: ...
9
votes
1answer
523 views

Can I preserve exceptions in GPL 3?

GPL 3 allows adding additional clauses, such as exceptions, as long as such exceptions grant additional privileges. But if I distribute software under GPL 3 with exceptions, are those exceptions ...
7
votes
2answers
1k 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. ...
3
votes
1answer
97 views

How much does code have to interact for the GPL to take effect?

The GPL says that if you use program A, you agree that if you make a program B that relies on program A, program B must be GPL (otherwise, you violate the GPL and therefore lose the right to use ...
2
votes
1answer
165 views

Is there a temporary copyleft license?

Suppose I produce some work, and I want all derivative works released before the year 2030 to be open source under the same license, but during and after the year 2030 I wish to allow derivative works ...
1
vote
1answer
94 views

Is it possible to have a non-comercial license, while allowing commercial use of derivative works and further modification of the derivative work?

This is a somewhat complicated situation, and I have trouble finding a Creative Commons license that is appropriate. Here is what I want the license to do: Others should be able to redistribute my ...
1
vote
1answer
145 views

How do Wikipedia licenses, CC-BY-SA and GFDL differ?

Wikipedia licenses most of their text and images under two licenses, CC-BY-SA and GFDL. We can choose either of the licenses while using the work. I know both of them are copyleft licenses and ...
10
votes
2answers
422 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
651 views

Will copyleft help me control what others are able to do with my code?

Given that I've written a program that I want to release as Open Source / Free Software (as defined by the OSI and the FSF), will choosing a copyleft license help me control what others are able to do ...
7
votes
1answer
788 views

What's the typical practice for cases when OSS license violation is found and fixed?

Suppose I ship binaries of a closed source product and it just so happens that there's a piece of GPL source code inside my giant codebase that I'm unaware of. At some point I find this GPL code and ...
6
votes
0answers
71 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
437 views

Is there a good license for a libertarian programmer who's against intellectual property?

I know, I know, you're probably thinking CC0 or WTFPL or something along those lines. But the thing is, the way I see it, people have a right to redistribute anything, even if the author doesn't want ...
4
votes
1answer
452 views

How do I detect an AGPL violation?

For client side code, even if it is obfuscated or is just a binary, I can imagine there might be ways of doing this, but if I have some server-side AGPL licensed code, how am I supposed to know that ...
3
votes
2answers
68 views

Copyleft Multi-Licenced Copyright Notice

I want to allow any usage/modification/distribution of my work except with the restriction that my work and derivatives must stay "libre". Therefore I think the right way is to publish my work under ...
3
votes
2answers
90 views

JPEG comment to convey Copyleft Multi-Licenced Copyright Notice

This question is related to Copyleft Multi-Licenced Copyright Notice. I upload pictures on commons.wikimedia.org and I want to facilitate the reuse but I want derivatives stay "libre". Therefore I ...
2
votes
3answers
469 views

Pacifist copyleft-like partially-open-source license [closed]

I'd like a license restricting use to non-military projects, but otherwise just like the GNU GPL. (There is obviously no point in making a permissive license like that, because editing a comment is ...
2
votes
2answers
160 views

Distributing MIT application with GPLv3 plugin without releasing source for MIT application

We have a MIT licensed application which we sell packed under virtual appliance to our customers. the application has a marketplace where users can download and install additional plugins. We wish to ...
1
vote
1answer
96 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
227 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 ...