Questions tagged [file-formats]

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File format convertor for open source and proprietary file formats

I want to build an application that will enable a user to convert files from any one of three formats, into any of those three formats. In order words, there are three formats: aaa, bbb and ccc My ...
Isometric's user avatar
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26 votes
2 answers
5k views

Why are open-source PDF APIs so hard to come by?

PDFs are inescapable, what surprises me is the lack of open-source tools available for interacting with them via some sort of API. One example which sticks in my mind was when I was using .NET to ...
Josh Hales's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
73 views

Archive Formats and Licensing

A number of archive formats such as DAR, AR, tar come under the GNU GPL license. If I understand correctly I only need to license my software as GPL if I use any APIs provided by libraries which ...
tangy's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
73 views

Are there any licensing restrictions on the Training Center XML file format?

The wikipedia page doesn't give much information on the page. It seems to be only generated by garmin devices but there are numerous open source libraries that can process this file format. Are ...
Qwertie's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
128 views

How to license or patent an open standard for a GPL program?

I am starting an open source project that consist of two parts: a program for reading, writing, modifying, and displaying information from file and a standard for the file. Obviously, this project may ...
yesennes's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
220 views

Libre Office and proprietary Microsoft file formats

Libre Office can open proprietary Microsoft file formats (although some features are unsupported). But how was it able to achieve this? Did they reverse engineer these formats from binaries? In this ...
Porcupine's user avatar
  • 259
10 votes
2 answers
375 views

How is Markdown licensed?

This question probably has a simple answer, but I haven't found it anywhere. I know various Markdown implementations are licensed, but is the Markdown language itself licensed? The reason I'm asking ...
freginold's user avatar
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20 votes
1 answer
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.
Uncreative Name's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

Difference between Open source and Open format

I have heard someone saying that the concepts "open source" and "open format" (in the context of file formats) should be distinguished. By file formats (extensions) I meant for example to ODT, RTF ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
95 views

Does AGPL cover a new/original file format too?

I developed a suite of tools, and put it on GitHub under AGPL license. All gravitate around a new/original file format which is key to the functionality of the tools, and is documented in the included ...
Mark0's user avatar
  • 41
4 votes
2 answers
370 views

An open file format initially created to tie users to a closed program. Would using it over other open formats help the open source community more?

Take the DOCX vs. ODT format for example. They are both open source and assumably have no clear advantage over each other, but DOCX was created to compete with ODT, which had been existed many years ...
Ooker's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
163 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 (...
unor's user avatar
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12 votes
2 answers
365 views

Am I free to distribute a software for a file format that was reverse engineered?

The scenario is the following: a proprietary software can save files in its own file format. I want to build a free/open-source software capable of decoding those files for further processing. Given ...
Andrea Corbellini's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
460 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. ...
kdopen's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
379 views

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. Assume the following scenario: Two programs 'communicate' via ...
kdopen's user avatar
  • 6,967