Questions tagged [derivative-works]

For questions about works that derive their core from another open work.

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55
votes
7answers
5k views

Is requiring a license a violation of the GPL? Can I get around it?

At work, we use a version of GCC provided by a vendor of a proprietary OS. The vendor has modified gcc so that it will only run if it successfully acquires one of a limited number of licenses we've ...
49
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 ...
26
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
25
votes
1answer
1k views

Ramifications of the proposed new SE licensing model

Like many other people I read this meta post. Since I don't really understand what is at stake I became confused and worried. Does this mean that I can legally force any organization to let me see ...
22
votes
2answers
7k views

Can I sell my MIT-licensed software if it is modified by others?

Suppose I create some software from scratch. I sell the software, but I also keep it open source under the MIT License. Someone forks my repository and makes some great improvements to my software. ...
20
votes
1answer
2k views

Is re-encoding an audio or video file permitted under CC-BY-ND?

I have a .mp3 file licensed under CC-BY-ND 4.0 and I want to reencode it (without changing the content within) in the Ogg Vorbis format for sharing, but I do not want to violate the CC license.
20
votes
3answers
681 views

Is the code generated from a GPLv3 EBNF grammar a derivative work?

So, I'm really unclear on this situation and what it means. I have an EBNF-based grammar file that we use for our project. This EBNF grammar describes rules for parsing/lexing a document (e.g. some ...
19
votes
2answers
741 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?...
18
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2answers
2k views

Borrowing ideas rather than code from open source projects

I work in a field where people (competitors?) reverse engineer things, and for this reason, there are many implementations around, all of which are open source. Sometimes in order to save time, I look ...
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 ...
15
votes
6answers
1k views

GPL-Licensed LaTeX template - implications for resulting work?

I'm currently writing my master thesis, and the classicthesis template we're supposed to use is licensed GPLv2+. As I understand the GPL, this makes my written thesis a derivative work, and would ...
15
votes
2answers
4k views

Do I have to release my code as GPL when a Java Library is GPL

I have found a Java library that can be used under the GPL licence (not the LGPL licence). Can I embed the library in my program without the requirement of using the GPL licence? I have no ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

Since some software is open source, can you add a feature you created and use it for your own personal use?

For example, if I want to add a bunch of lines in VS code using a single command and say I'm able to build this feature, can I use this on my version of VS code without the community acceptance?
14
votes
3answers
912 views

Is the output of an open source program licensed the same?

According to my knowledge, open source software is free to use and distribute. If modified it should be distributed under the same license. But what about only using output of the programme? Eg. ...
14
votes
1answer
547 views

GPL - Does “internal use” apply for a public gameserver?

While reading through the GPL FAQ I found some relevant points to the question, however it is still unclear to me if this fully applies to a public gameserver. I'll try to keep it short: There is a ...
14
votes
4answers
779 views

Does using GNU Unifont in a game make the game GPL?

GNU Unifont is a fontface licensed under the GNU GPLv2 or later with this exception: The license for the compiled fonts is covered by the above GPL terms with the GNU font embedding exception, as ...
14
votes
3answers
816 views

Does using Eclipse wizards to generate code make my software a derivative?

I am using Eclipse to code my program. After doing research on the Eclipse website I found that there was no clear answer to my question. My issue is that I need to be able to license my software ...
13
votes
5answers
708 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Derivatives and Forks… Is there a difference?

The terms fork and derivative have really been bugging me as I always seem to imply that their different, but then in many ways the same. You hear the term fork many times on platforms such as Github, ...
13
votes
1answer
12k views

How to use MIT license in a project?

Let's say i used a MIT program as a base for a new project, and modified about 50% of the program files. How should i specify that the program is a derivative work? Do i need to keep track of every ...
13
votes
2answers
655 views

Does the CC-BY-SA License require that source code of derivative works be shared?

For example, if I create a LaTeX file and license it with CC BY SA, can someone create a derivative work, but only publish the PDF, without giving out the derived LaTeX source code? Does this fall ...
13
votes
3answers
8k views

Is it allowed to dynamically link a GPL licensed library for commercial use?

I would like to use a dynamically linked library with GPL V2 license for adding remote support to my existing C++ application. I use the library without modifications of the library code. Do I need ...
13
votes
3answers
5k views

When is my project a derivative work in an interpreted language?

With compiled languages, I understand when a work is considered derivative of another and thus, a license such as the GNU GPL covers the whole work. However, with interpreted languages such as PHP or ...
12
votes
1answer
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 ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Derived work of BSD licensed software, how do I indicate this?

I found a javascript module (file), which contains two functions, and I would like to modify it under the terms of its BSD license. I'm happy for the resulting source file to be declared derived work ...
12
votes
2answers
606 views

Are derivative works a subset of combined works?

This question stems from discussion of a question on programmers.stackexchange.com. In the LGPL 3.0 section 4 "Combined Works" it states: You may convey a Combined Work under terms of your choice ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

Can I license Python project under 3-clause BSD while it has GPL-based dependencies

I'm working on an open source Python project and we have plans to use GPLv2-licensed library python3-xlib, but we will not distribute it with our library. So user can install it by pip install our-lib ...
11
votes
2answers
473 views

Recourse for forks ignoring open source license on original code in App Store?

I used to contribute to a free iOS app on GitHub that was released under the Mozilla Public License Version 2.0. Multiple people have since taken the code from that GitHub repository and released ...
11
votes
2answers
419 views

What counts as adaptation for using code licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 in software licensed under GPLv3?

Since 2015-10-08, GPLv3 is listed as one-way compatible license for CC BY-SA 4.0: […] you may license your contributions to adaptations of BY-SA 4.0 materials under GPLv3, but you may not license ...
10
votes
4answers
4k views

What is derivative work? What is “build upon”?

I have been reading up on Open Source licensing, but there is this one term that I think needs clarification: when is work derivative? If I have an image viewer that accepts a ZIP file and I ...
10
votes
3answers
5k views

Linking from LGPL 2.1 software to Apache 2.0 library

The FSF claims that GPL v2 is incompatible with Apache 2.0 and that linking to a library generally creates a derivative work of this library. However, the linking exception of the LGPL allows ...
10
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
289 views

What counts as a modification when using a CMS licensed under AGPL 3.0?

On my Web server, I’m using a CMS licensed under AGPL 3.0. I’m required to provide the source code of this CMS only if I have modified it. But what exactly counts as a modification? It certainly is ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

How do you use GPLv3 icons in non-software artwork?

Icon sets are often released under software licenses. For example, I use the Numix icon set, which is GPLv3, on my laptop. Suppose I wanted to use these icons to create a derivative non-software ...
8
votes
2answers
585 views

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

This question is a follow-up on a number of questions that all mention some sort of software architecture X for creating software composites, and then goes on to ask: "Will using X to create a ...
8
votes
1answer
791 views

What license options do I have for licensing ported source code?

If, I port Ruby on Rails (licensed under MIT) from Ruby to Java what license options do I have? Would I have to use MIT or a compatible license?
8
votes
1answer
109 views

Attribution for a “2nd generation” derivative work

How do you deal with attribution of a work that is derived from a work that is itself derived from an original work protected under CC BY-SA? And while we're at it, let's push it further: Let's call ...
8
votes
1answer
112 views

Is a derivative work necessarily written in same language as the one it derives from?

For example, a C repository built upon the ideas from a (say) JavaScript project - is it a derivative work based on the latter? To clear things up little bit, i'd give a more detailed example; ...
8
votes
1answer
237 views

Can I apply an open source license if I referenced copyright documentation during development?

I am working on python library that wraps a non-free C library. In order to develop this, I referenced the C library's copyrighted documentation. Because of that my function and variable names are the ...
7
votes
2answers
234 views

Is ripping off an open source library okay?

I don't know if I'm over-reacting but a while ago, I'm using a library https://github.com/sudeepag/SAConfettiView and I saw an open ticket https://github.com/sudeepag/SAConfettiView/issues/57 and it ...
7
votes
2answers
358 views

Does sharing a file format make two programs either a combined or derived work?

This is a follow on from Does a file format constitute an API? This is an attempt to break down: Does a host application's license apply to plug-ins written for it? into the underlying questions. ...
7
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 ...
7
votes
3answers
736 views

Does OSL 3.0 require user access to source if I sell access to it as SAAS?

We are a small group of developers who are looking to base a product we have in development on a OSL 3.0 licensed Project (OroCRM). I have been having trouble understanding the exact terms of the OSL ...
7
votes
2answers
135 views

Do I have full rights over derived works of my CC BY works?

Suppose I publish a product under a CC-BY license. Someone takes my product and remakes it into a slightly different product and publishes that under another license. Even though a version of my ...
7
votes
1answer
216 views

DMCA Takedown Notice received for distributing software licensed under Apache 2.0

A browser plugin was removed from one of the app stores last year as it had stopped working, and the author was no longer maintaining it in favor of their standalone desktop apps. I preferred using ...
7
votes
2answers
533 views

Using GPL-ed library from code with more permissive license (MPL-2)

I'm writing a library and a tool on top of it, and I would like to release both under MPL-2. However, the library has an optional dependency, another library which is released under GPL (not LGPL). I ...
7
votes
2answers
404 views

AGPL and Node.js

Supposed I have written a server in Node.js that I licensed under AGPLv3. Now, if somebody takes my code and modifies it, this is a derivative work. So far, so good. Supposed my server has the ...
7
votes
1answer
360 views

GPL v2 and proprietary extensions

I am trying to understand when do the GPLv2 spreads from a program to its extensions and vice versa. Everything I've read seems to say that if you use a module (shared library or any other "tightly ...
7
votes
2answers
664 views

Does programmatically looping a song in a game qualify as a derivative work?

If I want to put a song licensed under a Creative Commons license that does not allow derivatives (such as CC BY-NC-ND 3.0), am I allowed to programmatically loop (or apply effects) to the song when ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I license code when rewriting code in another language? [duplicate]

I took the C code from the png2theora example tool of Xiph.Org Theora which has a copyright header: /******************************************************************** * ...