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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.

12
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3answers
1k views

Am I in danger if a project component is relicensed?

I am currently managing a project, which includes a library that is licensed under the MIT license. My current project is licensed under the Apache 2.0 license. The maintainers of the library that I ...
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
204 views

GPL interpretation - What is our legal exposure if we include another project's code?

I am a contributor to a very old project presently licensed under the GPL. Our project is a plugin for a closed-source program, but the GPL does not permit this kind of linking. The GPL FAQ states: ...
7
votes
1answer
452 views

GPL Violation - What is our legal exposure to third parties (not our contributors)?

I am a contributor to a very old project presently in violation of the GPL. Our project is a plugin for a closed-source program, but the GPL does not permit this kind of linking. The project should ...
9
votes
2answers
349 views

Relicensing from GPL v2 to LGPL v2 - What if I can't contact all contributors?

I am a contributor to a very old project presently in violation of the GPL. Our project is a plugin for a closed-source program, but the GPL does not permit this kind of linking. The project should ...
6
votes
2answers
594 views

Can I relicense software under the modified BSD licence?

I want to modify and merge some software that is available under the two clause BSD license into a project that is available under the GNU GPL version 2. I want to distribute the result under the GNU ...
8
votes
1answer
439 views

How does the GPL's linking restriction apply when using a proprietary library with GPL'd interpreted code?

General description: Can I create Python software that will dynamically link against a closed-source library that has a C API (the Python interpreter is not copyleft) and will also utilize a GPL ...
5
votes
2answers
175 views

Copyleft license that allows usage in plugins of closed-source host applications

I wrote a library that I want to release under the GPL to prevent it from being incorporated in closed source software. I do not want people to use this library in their closed source commercial ...
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Do I have to disclose the source code of a Linux Driver I have not developed?

A 3rd-party Hardware manufacturing company is willing to sell me a Linux Driver for one of their products. The third-party company claims that the Linux Driver is derivative work of the driver they ...
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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
662 views

What's the typical practice for cases when OSS license violation is found and fixed?

Suppose I ship binaries of a closed source product and it just so happens that there's a piece of GPL source code inside my giant codebase that I'm unaware of. At some point I find this GPL code and ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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: ...
13
votes
1answer
493 views

Is there a reason to prefer the SimPL over the GPL? Does it carry the same legal weight?

I just came across the SimPL License which is described as: This Simple Public License 2.0 (SimPL-2.0 for short) is a plain language implementation of GPL 2.0. The words are different, but the ...
7
votes
2answers
135 views

Are dates mandatory in GPL licences?

According to Wikipedia's Copyright Formalities and Copyright notice, dating or even putting the author copyright notice in unnecessary. And then explanations such as this Stack Overflow Post make me ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

Changing code of an existing opensource application [closed]

I want to start an IDE (GPL compatible) based on QtCreator code (that is licensed under GPL and LGPL). Do I have to change all files/classes names within QtCreator source code because of L/GPL ...
13
votes
2answers
802 views

Are you obliged to enforce your license?

I've got a number of software projects, licensed under varying licenses. For simplicity, let's take one of them, licensed under the GPL. Obviously, the GPL requires various things, and there may be ...
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. ...
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 ...
10
votes
2answers
742 views

Does the GNU GPL 3 prohibit DRM?

Is DRM, which some spell as "Digital Rights Management", others as "Digital Restriction Management", allowed by the GPL? In other words, can software that implements DRM be licensed under the GPL? ...
17
votes
1answer
904 views

GPL v3 “convey” vs. GPL v2 “distribute”

I've noticed that the GNU GPL version 3 uses the word "convey" where version 2 used "distriubte": GNU GPLv3: To “convey” a work means any kind of propagation that enables other parties to make or ...
10
votes
2answers
882 views

Can I omit the preamble of the GPL?

The GNU GPL is very long. If I have to include a copy of it with my program, can I drop the preamble to save space?
8
votes
3answers
648 views

Does using the GPL for a program make it GNU software?

Let's assume I write a program and release it under the GNU GPL. Can I call this software "GNU software"? If not, what is necessary to make it a part of GNU?
22
votes
2answers
989 views

How does GPL affect binary-only modifications?

GPL is a copyleft license where, if I make modifications to the source code and distribute the resulting binary, I need to provide the modified source code also under the GPL. What happens if I make ...
17
votes
3answers
669 views

With GPL, what does “source code” mean for non-software?

GPL is a license designed primarily for software, but it can be used for non-software. The license text has many mentions of "source code", which is ambiguous for non-software. GNU/FSF claim that GPL ...
5
votes
1answer
229 views

Can I make a derived work of a GPL project and a non GPL project for personal use?

In the GNU General Public License, version 2, some limits on how you can modify the Program are listed. Point 2.b states that (emphasis mine): You must cause any work that you distribute or publish,...
13
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
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)? ...
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 ...
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 ...
23
votes
2answers
2k views

What happens if very common code is released under GPL?

I know GPL can be used as an open-source license for source code etc. But what if the source code released has very few lines and has a lot of probability that it might also have been written already ...
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
91 views

What happens when a GPL licence is changed to a LGPL?

I'm using an open source library under GPL in a closed source project. If the libraries license changes from GPL to LGPL, does it mean the previous code (written when the library was GPL) should be ...
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 ...
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?