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Questions tagged [distribution]

Use this tag if the question concerns the distribution of an object, package or notice to the developer or public community.

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75
votes
5answers
35k views

Can I use GPL libraries in a closed source project if only the output is distributed?

If I create a closed source application which uses some GPL licensed libraries but don't actually distribute the software, only its output, can I keep the software closed sourced? Specifically, I am ...
33
votes
7answers
3k views

Is it possible to close an open source project?

If yes, what are the consequences of Open Source projects being discontinued, if it's done by a large organization? As per this post, the older version of project can still be used under the same old ...
31
votes
3answers
2k views

Do I really need to include a licence file for common licences like GPL or MIT?

The GPL3, for example, says: Conveying Verbatim Copies. You may convey verbatim copies of the Program's source code as you receive it, in any medium, provided that you conspicuously and ...
22
votes
6answers
4k views

What is the standard practice when the developer does not want third party redistribution of a certain free and open source software?

I recently tried to build .deb package and a PPA for Droidcam (turns phone camera into webcam), and mentioned it in a related GitHub issue for feedback. The developer replied I am going to ask that ...
22
votes
3answers
299 views

For what reasons should you make the user agree to a FOSS licence during installation?

Most Windows installers for FOSS software make the user agree to the licence during installation: there'll be a page where the text is shown and a little tick box, you must have seen it before. But ...
21
votes
5answers
7k views

GPLv3 forces us to make code available, but to whom?

I've read that GPLv3 imposes that we should make the source code of our app available. But, available to whom? In case we sell our GPLv3 software, does it mean we have to make it available to those ...
21
votes
4answers
2k views

Is the Mozilla Public License compatible with Apple's App Store?

I'm planning on open-sourcing an application soon, and I've settled on either GPLv3 or the Mozilla Public License 2.0, as this application has a massive community surrounding it, and I still want ...
21
votes
1answer
3k views

Are all docker images free (i.e. GPL)?

Looking at the GPLv2 FAQ. I'd like to incorporate GPL-covered software in my proprietary system. Can I do this?. Since, any typical Linux distribution base image contains a variety of GPL-licensed ...
16
votes
2answers
211 views

How can I get my program into a Linux distribution (Debian)?

Assume I have programmed a cool application and released it as open source. But not many people are using it, as most install their programs through their distribution of choice. Can I somehow add ...
13
votes
2answers
458 views

Can I leave out parts of a CC BY-ND licensed work when distributing it?

I want to redistribute a work licensed under CC BY-ND 3.0. The license summary says about ND (NoDerivatives): If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Is putting a page with javascript in it considered a redistribution

Imagine, I published a page on the web. It contains some javascript code, which uses open source library. Is it in general considered redistribution? On one hand, it's a redistribution. You put code ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do some GNU distributions with a Linux kernel convey GPL software online without providing source code?

I have noticed that some groups or organizations convey the GPL software without the source code. Such examples are: https://sourceforge.net/projects/serbian2014/files/Download/ as Serbian GNU/Linux ...
12
votes
1answer
741 views

Are there any GPL like licenses for Apple App Store?

GPL software is not allowed onto the Apple App Store. The FSF shows how the GPL2 is not compatible with the App Store terms of service. Along the same lines, we'll be talking about GPLv2 ...
11
votes
3answers
407 views

Should my project provide precompiled binaries?

Inspired by Source code or binaries? How important is this? Many of the larger, more widely used, FLOSS projects provide both source distributions and ready-to-install binary images. This seems ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Can I distribute unmodified GPLv2 binaries without the source code?

If I distribute someone else's unmodified GPLv2 software as a part of my product, what obligations do I have regarding source code distribution? Do I have to host the source independently and ...
11
votes
5answers
730 views

How can I protect my advanced version based on my open source project?

I have developed an open source project, and people can get the community version from Github. But I also want some customers to buy an advanced version based on the open source project, the advanced ...
10
votes
4answers
352 views

Threatening with non-renewal of contract when users distribute the GPLv2-licensed software

Scenario: Bob develops patches for Linux. Because Linux is licensed under the GPLv2, these patches are also licensed under GPLv2. Bob distributes these patches only to people who have a contract ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

GPL code behind a registration form

My employer wants to publish a paper about software and make it open-source under GPL, but they want to know who is interested and downloads it? Is this legal to ask people to fill in a regular ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

If the copyright-owner claims his works to be open source, do they have to release the source somewhere?

The copyright-owner can choose any license they wish to. But if they decide to choose an open source license (lets say Apache 2), how much do they have to conform to the license? Especially, do they ...
8
votes
2answers
530 views

Redistributing LGPL 2.1 code compiled by a proprietary compiler

Can I redistribute the binary form of someone's LGPL code compiled with a proprietary compiler which is not included in the operating system? LGPL 2.1 says: For an executable, the required form of ...
8
votes
2answers
270 views

Distributing an operating system DVD bundling proprietary and GNU-GPL software?

Wikipedia seems to imply that Turbolinux bundles proprietary codecs. More generally, under what conditions is it OK to mix proprietary and GNU-GPLv3 software into an operating system, and distribute ...
8
votes
1answer
438 views

If a client sends me GPL'ed code, has it been distributed/conveyed to me?

A client has sent me GPL'ed code to work on for them. This code has not been publicly released, so there is no way for me to obtain it - other than directly from this client. Is this considered ...
8
votes
2answers
78 views

Sharing CC BY licensed material without offering a way to be contacted

Section 3(a)(3) of the license CC BY 4.0: If requested by the Licensor, You must remove any of the information required by Section 3(a)(1)(A) to the extent reasonably practicable. While it does ...
8
votes
1answer
176 views

How can I prove that a work was free/libre at some point?

The authors of a free/libre work can change the license of their work any time, and they can even make it non-free again. This does not affect copies that were made before that change (and any ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Using GPL or LGPL licensed framework for web application

I am developing a web application which streams videos. For the frontend I intend to use the richfaces framework for jsf. That framework is licensed under the LGPL v2. Does that mean that I have to ...
7
votes
2answers
221 views

Requiring personal info for source code

I bought a Samsung laptop recently. The model is shipped with TCL (Tiny Core Linux) with BusyBox in it. Circumstantial evidence suggests that TCL is modified to meet Samsung's requirements. I found ...
7
votes
4answers
618 views

Distribution of open source software between different legal entities

At the company I work for we are developing an app for use within the company. The company consists of numerous branches across the world, all other legal entities. For testing we would like to send a ...
7
votes
1answer
202 views

Is having a repository on GitHub considered distribution?

TL;DR Is having a repository on GitHub considered distribution in the sense of a license? Description I have some repositories on GitHub. Now I modified a file for a project. The file was licensed ...
7
votes
1answer
147 views

DCMA 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
1answer
221 views

Can I redistribute BSD software under GPL with no changes?

If GPL and BSD code are combined in a piece of software, the entire work comes under GPL but its BSD portions can still be obtained under that license. What if the size of the GPL portion is exactly ...
7
votes
2answers
646 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

MIT-licensed app without the source code

There is one very cool app on GitHub, under the MIT license. However, for some reason, the author has not published the source code, only binaries. Is it allowed under the MIT license to provide ...
6
votes
1answer
585 views

NDA with GPL software: can the author decide how/when to disclose?

The GPL FAQ states that is not permitted to sign NDAs when distributing software, as it would be a violation of the redistribution freedom. Let A be an entity that develops a feature on top of an ...
6
votes
2answers
557 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
186 views

Selling computers with GPL licensed applications pre-installed

I would sell somes computers, each computer: Contains a MariaDB database (GPL v2). Some web applications under apache/php (GPL v2 and/or GPL v3). These applications use MariaDB. I can't find an ...
6
votes
2answers
935 views

How to best indicate license of source code and copying terms of binary when multiple licenses are involved?

Suppose I have some open source project which makes use of both GPL and MIT licensed components. The source code of my project is also MIT licensed (not copyleft). What is the right way to indicate ...
5
votes
2answers
242 views

Can I forbid distributing my open source project for less money than I do?

This question is partially inspired by How is selling FLOSS packages for monetary compensation a viable strategy? After reading that question and some of its answers, I was left wondering if there ...
5
votes
1answer
838 views

GPL and distribution

If I write some software which links against a GPL licensed component (i.e. my software is a derived work) and install (copy across a public network and deploy) that software onto a customer's (...
5
votes
1answer
121 views

How to comply with the GPL when providing auto updates?

Problem description: I want to distribute a Debian VM with Debian based docker containers, so far I would just extract the entire source code after the VM is configured and provide the source code on ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Can I redistribute libstdc++ with proprietary software?

So, libstdc++ has the runtime exception that permits even proprietary software to use libstdc++. But, hypothetically, can I actually distribute a non-modified binary of libstdc++ along with a binary ...
5
votes
2answers
179 views

Do I have to include the PSF's notice of copyright?

I have a class which inherits from one in the standard library of Python 2.7.6. I would like to meet the conditions of the license of that code, which is the PSF LICENSE AGREEMENT FOR PYTHON 2.7.6 ...
5
votes
3answers
198 views

Would this scenario be considered “propagation without conveying” according to the GPLv3 terminology?

I have a fancy software "foo" that may be considered the derivative work of a GPLv3 library. "foo" is GPLv3 itself. Example 1: I install the foo binary on my company's laptop, go to a customer's ...
5
votes
1answer
289 views

Does using Stanford NER in a website count as distributing it?

I'm working for a company that stores millions of newspapers articles. Subscribers can log on our site and make queries. Our search engine returns articles that match the queries. I know that in ...
5
votes
2answers
92 views

How do I make sure my installer doesn't set off virus scanners?

The converse of this question. How to give evidence that an open-source project is reputable? The installer for my project is being picked up as "Untrusted" by a popular anti-virus software (in ...
5
votes
1answer
71 views

When changing the format of a work licensed under CC BY-ND, may I change the number of files?

I want to redistribute a work licensed under CC BY-ND 3.0. While I’m not allowed to omit parts of the work, I’m allowed to change its format: When I release my work under a CC license in one format (...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Is a Web application “released” in the sense of GPL?

In the sense of GPL, is a Web application running on a private server without exposing its code considered "released"? (or is the word "distributed"?) Therefore, if a GPL component is used in a Web ...
4
votes
2answers
827 views

Distribute virtual machine image with gpl code

I have developed a C++ tool and I am the full copyright owner of the code. However the tool is dynamically linked to a gpl library. The whole source code of the tool is hosted on a virtual machine. In ...
4
votes
1answer
121 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. ...
4
votes
2answers
856 views

Is it sufficient for using GPL-licensed code to add a note that the source can be requested via email?

My company is about to launch a commercial product, said product consists of an embedded Linux computer running custom software and talking to custom hardware. My understanding is that the GPL ...
4
votes
2answers
195 views

Location of Open Source Documents for CX20 Drone

I am not sure if this is one of the purposes of this site, if not, please remove/move to the correct site. I recently bought a CX20 drone that was said to be open source. I have not been able to ...