Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [gpl]

The GNU's General Public License, a commonly-used free software license. The GPL has various versions, v1-v3, so use this tag only for questions talking about overarching issues of the licenses or shared characteristics. For example, for a question about a unique section on version 3, use the [tag:gpl-3] tag.

9
votes
2answers
607 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
votes
4answers
397 views

What are the arguments for considering dynamic links to *not* 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
297 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 ...
29
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
20
votes
1answer
298 views

What are the licensing terms of the text of the GPL?

The text of the GPLv3 starts with the following disclaimer: Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not allowed. What does this ...
18
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
599 views

As owner of GPL library, can I break the licensing terms?

As far as I understand, choosing GPL licence for library does not permits use of it in proprietary programs as opposed to LGPL. So releasing my library (or code classes), I'm forcing people to use ...
8
votes
2answers
234 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. ...
25
votes
8answers
27k views

Can GPL licenced software be used in corporate environments?

If software is licenced under a GPL license, can it be used without restriction in a corporate/commercial environment? The software that I am refering to is QGIS which provides this description: ...
26
votes
4answers
1k views

If I include some GPL code in my project, can I release it as BSD?

I have scientific software that I would like to release under the BSD 3-clause licence, but it includes some old code that was released under GPL. Can I still package it all and release as BSD?
14
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the difference between GPL + Classpath exception vs LGPL

Java and a few java libraries provide a "classpath" exception. To me, this seems similar to the LGPL's linking exceptions. What is the difference between the GPL with a classpath exception and the ...
9
votes
1answer
242 views

If a part of the client-side code is licensed under GPL, does the server-side code have to be under GPL as well?

Say a part of the JavaScript which is provided to the client's browser is under GPL. Does this mean that server-side code also has to be made public under GPL as well? The GPL states: "You must ...
6
votes
1answer
385 views

AGPL v3 licensing: How does external party determine if modifications were made?

When using an AGPL v3 licensed software within a public-facing web application hosted on a private server, you are obligated (section 13) to share your code if you modify the original AGPL code. Many ...
38
votes
3answers
2k views

What can/should I do when I see a violation to GPL restrictions?

Some years ago, I was working on a software company that used some copyrighted JAR dependencies that they had bought from a medium-size obscure private company for a very expensive price. After some ...
25
votes
2answers
4k 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
1answer
1k views

GPL V3 with OpenSSL Exception

I've decided to license some code I have yet to release under the GPL v3. However, OpenSSL is used quite a bit in the software and I know that the two licenses are explicitly cited as being ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it possible to restrict GNU GPLv3 to non-commercial use only?

I've noticed that the jQuery plugin "Fancybox" has a peculiar licensing note in its header: // Licensed GPLv3 for open source use // or fancyBox Commercial License for commercial use // // http://...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Proprietary software using GPL modules

This question is bases on: Why doesn't this GPL loophole work? If a program uses a GPL derived component, does said program also have to be GPL? For example: If a game uses a music player that ...
7
votes
1answer
152 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
145 views

Must CC BY-SA be included for ideas and code taken from Stack Overflow?

I'm still unclear about licensing. If I have a project on Github that's licensed under GPL and found pseudocode on a Stack Overflow question, must I now dual license my code on Github and GPL as ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

Does inbound=outbound apply to GPL-family without a CLA?

The traditional expectation for contributions to a free software project are "inbound=outbound" [1] [2]. That is, if the project is under license X, contributions are made under license X. Does this ...
0
votes
1answer
109 views

Can I change license of my GPL project? [duplicate]

I have created a project from scratch and made it available online under the GPL license. Can I release a new version of the same project that does not have the GPL license? I would also like to know ...
54
votes
5answers
18k 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 ...
21
votes
3answers
7k views

Why does Linux still use the GPLv2?

As I know, Linux intentionally avoids the switch from GPLv2 to GPLv3. It has the unfortunate side-effect, that it doesn't take part in the defense of the opensource world from the most recent danger, ...
24
votes
6answers
7k views

Can I take BSD licensed code and distribute it under GPL?

Or in more general terms: Can I take code which is licensed under a permissive open source license (like the BSD license) and distribute it under a copyleft free software license (like the GPL)? ...
30
votes
4answers
9k views

Is it legal to use GPL code in a proprietary, closed-source program by putting it in a separate, standalone program?

As we all know, the GNU General Public License (GPL) is a "copyleft" source license: which means it is designed not merely to make the code to which it is initially applied free and preserve its ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

Can plugins for closed source software use GPL'd libraries?

I use closed-source scientific software for my work. I also use GPL licensed tools and libraries. It would save me a lot of time to be able to call a GPL library directly from the closed-source ...
12
votes
2answers
226 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
368 views

Can I use GPL v3 for source code and CC BY-SA v3 for comments?

I have some source code for which I am the copyright holder. I want to release it under the GPL, but when it was closed source, I copied a bunch of a stuff from Wikipedia for a couple of classes and ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Calling GPL'd programs from a shell script

I have a program written in a shell language that consists of several shell script files. Some of these files execute external commands that have been licensed under GPL. Do I have to release my ...
9
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
70 views

Meaning of “and” and “additionally” connectors with two Open Source licenses

[This question is an expansion of the question "Meaning of OFL and GPL" because of limits on the number of characters in comment-responses]. I am unsure of the meaning of the terms "and" and "...
20
votes
1answer
3k views

Do defunct companies have to comply with requests for GPL code?

I have an embedded Linux device. The company that developed and produced this device is now defunct, having been sold to Flex Ltd. When this acquisition occurred, it seems that the employees signed ...
12
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
594 views

GPL licenced code for a module of a closed source program

I want to create a dynamically loadable module (.dll or .so) for a closed source program, but I would like to make the source code of this module available, and I'd like it to be (A)GPL licensed, so ...
8
votes
1answer
143 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. ...
7
votes
1answer
202 views

Is there any difference between the GPL and AGPL for code executed in the browser?

My research into the topic suggests that the differences between the GPL and AGPL licenses only matter for code that runs on the server. When executing JavaScript in the browser, "distribution" ...
7
votes
1answer
524 views

Relicensing an MIT licensed project under the GPL that has non code contributions from others

I have an Android Game I've written that I released under the MIT license. Recently, there have been several people who have downloaded the source of my application, added ads and uploaded it to the ...
6
votes
1answer
609 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
95 views

Can an interpreted program be under any license without restricted by its GPL'ed run-time environment?

If I write a run-time environment based on some GPL'ed libraries and separately write an program interpreter which is passively used by the run-time environment, can a program (which is intended to be ...
4
votes
1answer
448 views

Release code with MIT dependencies under GPL

I am creating a game and want to release the code under a copyleft license (GPL 2 or 3). So far, so good, but there are multiple MIT-licensed library dependencies. Can I still release my code under ...
4
votes
1answer
608 views

Using a GPL V3 library in a Android app published on Google Play, do I need to release the application's source code?

I'm in a situation where I'm considering using a GPL V3 library in a module of an Android application. The application will be published to Google Play and will be available for free download. My ...
3
votes
2answers
95 views

What additional benefits does the DCO provide?

If my project has a lax license (like Expat/MIT), I can enforce "inbound=outbound" by requiring that contributors sign off their commits in order to acknowledge the Developer Certificate of Origin. I'...
3
votes
2answers
578 views

How much code does the manufacturer of an embedded device that uses GPL software have to give me?

I have an embedded device that runs Linux among other software licensed by the GNU GPL. The manufacturer never released any GPL code, and I plan to demand that from them tomorrow. My question is, do ...
2
votes
1answer
425 views

Are all GPL Licensed projects free to use for commercial use? [duplicate]

I having a few issues understanding how sites like gpldl.com can call themselves legal. This is basically a site where they purchase themes/plugins from developers such as: WooThemes iThemes Gravity ...
0
votes
2answers
78 views

Is reverse-compiled assembly considered as a valid form of “source code” in GPLv2?

My project used and modified some code from project A licensed under GPLv2 written in C. Now I was wondering that if I release my compiled binary with its reverse-compiled assembly, is it GPLv2-...
19
votes
2answers
2k views

How is Oracle suing Google for copyright infringement when Java is Open Source?

There is a case between Google and Oracle over the use of Java and it's standard library on the Google Android operating system. From [this article]: To recap: Oracle accused Google of ...
53
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
25
votes
2answers
4k views

Why doesn't this GPL loophole work?

Suppose Alice makes some proprietary software. The source is available, but under a proprietary license which prohibits derivative works and sublicensing. Bob writes some GPLv3 code. Carol prepares ...
23
votes
7answers
6k views

Can I use my client's GPL software?

I have a client who sent me his source code for me to review. It was a non-paying job. His source code was clearly a heavy modification from a popular GPL-licensed software which I part-authored. I ...