Questions tagged [copyright]

Use this tag on questions about the copyrighting process and principles. Questions solely pertaining to general copyright are off topic.

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15
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2answers
2k 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 ...
65
votes
4answers
12k views

How does GitHub's “forking right” cope with an “All rights reserved” project?

The GitHub FAQ states (emphasis mine): You're under no obligation to choose a license. It's your right not to include one with your code or project, but please be aware of the implications. ...
39
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3answers
4k views

Should I include a copyright line in every file?

This is similar to my other question, but specifically about Copyright rather than Licensing. Typically, each source file contains a line of the form Copyright 2010-2015, Me Is this strictly ...
19
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2answers
564 views

Theseus' Paradox applied to code copyright

Assuming a copyright license (I'll reference Apache 2.0, but that's an example only) that allows derivations, at what point are those derivations so extensive that the Apache license no longer applies?...
27
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2answers
2k views

Copyright and Contributing to an Open Source Project

I'm a little confused by copyright notices on open source projects. Let's say that a particular project is covered by a very permissive license, such as MIT or BSD. A copyright notice appears from ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Which author/copyright holder “type” is allowed in the MIT license? Pseudonym, Company name, …?

In many licenses you have to (or can?) state who is the author of the project, which is the one who "owns" the intellectual property (= the copyright holder). In the MIT license it e.g. is said like ...
3
votes
1answer
74 views

As the owner of a GPLv3 project, what type of restrictions will be placed on me if I accept contributions?

For example, will accepting someone's copyrighted contribution prohibit me from changing the license, accepting donations towards the project, or anything else?
15
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2answers
1k views

How should I assert copyright when I'm forking an MIT project?

I have an open source software project licensed under MIT. The MIT License (MIT) Copyright (c) 2016 Håvard Fossli Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any .... I found ...
14
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2answers
321 views

Must contributor agreements be physically signed?

I've been developing an API internally with a few friends, and hope to expand it and make it open to the broader public. I've highlighted a lot of background in this question, but to recap, it's a ...
9
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2answers
2k views

How can I use an MIT license for code but protect the copyright of photos in my repository?

My project is a fork of a project that comes with the MIT license and nobody wants to change the license that applies to the software. However, some of the content that is also stored on GitHub is not ...
7
votes
1answer
144 views

Help with getting permission to open source a small piece of software

If you are an employee, work you do in the course of your job (as opposed to in your spare time) is a "work for hire" and the copyright is by default owned by the company you work for. How do you go ...
23
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3answers
2k views

What happens if stolen software is published as Open Source?

This is not a real world issue, at least for me. It is more about a thought experiment from a talk that I once had with a friend: Let's say that Acme develops closed source software for their own ...
33
votes
3answers
17k views

What's the difference between Copyright and Licensing?

Preamble There are two other questions, specifically related to Licensing and Copyright. In reviewing the answers and comments, I get the feeling that people generally consider the two to be the ...
13
votes
2answers
365 views

Why does the FSF make this recommendation about ranges of copyright years?

In the document “How to use GNU licenses for your own software”, the FSF says: For software with several releases over multiple years, it's okay to use a range (“2008-2010”) instead of listing ...
12
votes
1answer
583 views

Projects which require copyright assignment from contributors?

I read the following in ØMQ - The Guide (in Chapter 6, in the section Licensing and Ownership): All patches are owned by their authors. There SHALL NOT be any copyright assignment process. Here we ...
9
votes
2answers
490 views

What license do I apply to my software if parts of its code is derived from MIT licensed open source software?

This is the first time I'm handling licenses and could use some guidance in this matter. I have developed a piece of Java software where parts of the code is derived from different classes licensed ...
6
votes
1answer
764 views

Can I use/distribute LGPL command line software in mine that isn't LGPL?

I've developed a little software that use FFmpeg in command line mode. To further clarify: My software launch several times ffmpeg.exe that is stored inside the same folder as my .exe. User never ...
21
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5answers
2k views

Does being open sourced mean others can use my logo?

Suppose I have created an open source application I have also created a snazzy logo to go with the application (for example, the Eclipse logo) I released my application's source code under a ...
13
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2answers
289 views

Is copyright automatic?

If I publish something on my website is a form of copyright automatically placed on that text? For example I know if you specifically say "This is published under [insert some cc license here]" then ...
12
votes
1answer
693 views

How to deal with licences after forking a project?

I forked a project with an MIT license on GitHub: The MIT License (MIT) Copyright (c) 2012 Some Name Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software ...
3
votes
1answer
327 views

Can I use my username in copyright?

I am releasing a program under the GNU GPL v3.0. I need to include a copyright notice. Is it ok to use my username in the copyright notice as I don't want to use my real name?
10
votes
1answer
299 views

Does the AGPL help to protect against closed source if the application is run on a remote server and proxied by a separate service?

Note that there is this related question of which this question is by no means a duplicate. It refers to a related but separate scenario. Long question title, I'll just go with an example. Suppose I ...
7
votes
1answer
237 views

Is the text in my open source project under the GPL?

I have an open source project that used to be under the GPL licence (now it has no licence). In this repository I had many short stories. My intention was for the code to be open source but the ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

How to deal with copyright infringement on GitHub

I have a public repository on GitHub. Some of the code was copy-and-pasted into another repository without keeping Licence headers and without any other back-linking to the original repository. How ...
9
votes
1answer
289 views

Copyright notice must be regularly updated while the project is active?

I started an open source project in 2013, with the LGPL license. I've been regularly working on it for the last four years. Each file includes the standard copyright notice that include the copyright ...
9
votes
1answer
260 views

Can I remove some copyright holders from headers and replace them by a generic “and contributors”?

The project I'm involved in currently has headers of the following form: The X Development Team Organization A - Organization B - Organization C - Copyright 1999-2018 This file is distributed under ...
8
votes
1answer
219 views

Copyright assignments in Germany

When contributing to some of their projects, the FSF requires you to assign the copyright to your work to the FSF. As I'm German, I'm interested in whether this is compatible with German law. German ...
7
votes
2answers
200 views

Can I adapt a CC-BY-SA licensed webpage to host rights-reserved copyrighted content?

I think the inverse of What do I need to share if I include CC-BY-SA artwork in my software?. Some webpages, such as Code for America are licensed under CC-BY-SA. If I want to adapt the code for this ...
2
votes
2answers
114 views

How to properly display the Copyright information in the User Interface or product documentation?

In order to fulfill license obligations (in some cases) one must display the copyright information (when not delivering source code). Should one display (in GUI or IFU) the copyright information of ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

A small Go library under GPLv2, rewrite it under modified BSD

Go is using a modified BSD license. I would like to use the same license for some projects, most parts / libraries will be published under an open source license, but clients do demand some of the ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Including copyrighted specifications in an MIT-licensed project

I am working on a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), library released under an MIT license, however, the sources contain XML specifications which are owned by the Bluetooth SIG. As an example, here is an ...
2
votes
1answer
370 views

If there is no copyright notice, is the license applied?

On a project I noticed that it has a LICENSE file, apparently put in place as template when the project was initialized by Github. The file contains the standard GPLv2 template but no copyright notice....
1
vote
1answer
102 views

Copyrighting open source code using a business name vs as an individual

I'm the only developer working on an open source project (MPL v2.0 license, not sure if it does matter) and I have a single-person LLC I use for some consulting works. What are the pros and cons of ...
8
votes
5answers
815 views

Acknowledging employer in an open source project

My employer has given me to permission to open source a component of a project that I have been working on, allowing me to retain ownership and control, with the condition that they be acknowledged in ...
6
votes
2answers
93 views

Am I infringing copyright if I use an improperly licensed project?

While answering this question, it was pointed out to me in the comments that software that is improperly licensed (in that case, by violating another license) causes its own license to be cancelled ...
6
votes
2answers
307 views

How to use software published under MIT without copyright notice?

MIT License says: The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software. However, a few repositories do not have any ...
5
votes
2answers
312 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
379 views

Handling copyright infringement in your own open source project

What do you do if you discover that some part of your own open source project infringes copyright? Consider the following hypothetical situation. An open source project's maintainer finds code in his ...
5
votes
1answer
221 views

Does the GNU Affero GPL help to protect against closed source if the application is run on a remote server?

Note that there is this related question of which this question is by no means a duplicate. It refers to a related but separate scenario. I'*m about to release an application and yet need to choose a ...
4
votes
1answer
91 views

Do project owners have to comply with their software's license? [duplicate]

Say that I create an open source project with a license X, that grants user the capacity to edit and distribute my code, but under the same license. Do I, as the owner and copyright holder, have to ...
4
votes
1answer
567 views

Can open source exist without copyright?

I was asked a question in my law class: is it possible for open source software to exist without copyright protection? In the absence of copyright, could software still exist that satisfied the open ...
4
votes
1answer
301 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the usual procedure when using MIT or BSD-2-Clause licensed source code with something like `<script src="…`, `require(…` or `import …`?

This is not a legal question. It might touch the legal aspects around Open Source licenses but I need general help understanding how they work and what the usual procedure is. Part 1 of my question: ...
3
votes
1answer
115 views

Rights of deep learning output trained on CC-BY-ND or CC-BY-NC images

We can use GANs to generate original images, but if I train my GAN using CC-BY-ND am I creating a derivative work? If I train with CC-BY-NC images (or even copyrighted images), do I have rights to use ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it legal to monetize from someone else's software?

I was wondering if I copy someone else's software and make some design changes and try to make money from it. Is it legal? Which licenses provides a facility for that?
3
votes
2answers
74 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
2answers
88 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
331 views

Understanding a Perl module license

Can someone clarify these claims: This module is free software you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself. Copyright (C) year Some Author. All Rights Reserved It ...
1
vote
1answer
68 views

Copyright on derived software under EPL license v1.0

I recently modified software code licensed under EPL v1.0. Can I remove the original copyright and add my own copyright ?