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 [gpl-3] tag.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
26 votes
2 answers
5k views

So the GPL doesn't restrict the creator of the software in any way?

In another thread I started (Red Hat 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 ...
vic's user avatar
  • 509
18 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
curiousdannii's user avatar
28 votes
4 answers
3k 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 ...
curiousdannii's user avatar
20 votes
1 answer
705 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 ...
Mnementh's user avatar
  • 11.1k
47 votes
4 answers
25k 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 ...
The_Sympathizer's user avatar
22 votes
1 answer
5k 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 ...
Ariel's user avatar
  • 323
34 votes
2 answers
7k 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'...
leftaroundabout's user avatar
31 votes
3 answers
3k 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 ...
curiousdannii's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
kenorb's user avatar
  • 1,091
106 votes
5 answers
60k 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 ...
terdon's user avatar
  • 1,165
39 votes
7 answers
15k 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)? ...
Lesmana's user avatar
  • 493
19 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
xenoterracide's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
2k views

Does "the GPL doesn't cover the output of a program" also apply if the output is source code?

As it is well known (see for example this question or this one), the GPL licenses do not cover the output of a GPL-licensed program. So, I could for example generate some pictures with a GPL-licensed ...
sebrockm's user avatar
  • 253
41 votes
8 answers
56k 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: ...
TsvGis's user avatar
  • 621
19 votes
2 answers
15k views

Can a non-GPL python program use GPL Python module?

Suppose I have a Python library which is distributed under the GPL license. I would like to use that library in my program, that I may eventually want to distribute under non-GPL terms. The library ...
Pasha's user avatar
  • 556
17 votes
2 answers
4k 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 ...
Vasily Ryabov's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
444 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
  • 6,917
0 votes
1 answer
234 views

Extend GPL to be informed in case of derivative work

I understand that any work that is based on work licensed under GPL must also be released under GPL. However, it does not require contacting original authors about the fact that a derivative work has ...
Raven's user avatar
  • 119
28 votes
4 answers
3k 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?
mirams's user avatar
  • 417
18 votes
7 answers
2k 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 ...
malexmave's user avatar
  • 355
17 votes
2 answers
7k views

What are the implications of licensing a JavaScript library under GPL?

When searching for "gpl javascript" in Google, I currently find these five first results: A piece by RMS warning about how we are using more and more web apps and that we should care whether these ...
Zimm i48's user avatar
  • 5,557
16 votes
2 answers
6k 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 ...
Szabolcs's user avatar
  • 499
12 votes
4 answers
3k views

If a project is released under GPLv3+ and GPLv4 is less restrictive what happens?

I've seen in multiple places project owners choosing to stick with GPLv2 to prevent the FSF from releasing a license that the project owners don't agree with but I've never seen reasoning beyond the ...
sethmlarson's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
2k 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://...
Alexander Rechsteiner's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
985 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 ...
xji's user avatar
  • 203
9 votes
1 answer
913 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 ...
Tim Malone's user avatar
  • 2,120
9 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
user46688's user avatar
  • 475
9 votes
1 answer
338 views

Is the "similar in spirit" provision of the GPL legally binding?

Section 14 of the GPLv3 says: The Free Software Foundation may publish revised and/or new versions of the GNU General Public License from time to time. Such new versions will be similar in spirit to ...
Barmar's user avatar
  • 421
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

CLA as an exception to the GPL

If it is true that GPL exceptions can be made to apply to some individuals and not others, could the author of an open source program avoid the hassle of asking contributors to sign a Contributor ...
HullCityFan852's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
5k views

Can I use a GPL component in my site without having to disclose the sources of my site?

In which of the following situations can I use a GPL component in my website without having to GPL or disclose the source code of my entire site? The component is a JavaScript library that goes into ...
mljrg's user avatar
  • 183
3 votes
1 answer
310 views

As the owner of a GPLv3 project, what type of restrictions will be placed on me if I accept contributions?

For example, will accepting someone's copyrighted contribution prohibit me from changing the license, accepting donations towards the project, or anything else?
Austin's user avatar
  • 111
2 votes
1 answer
270 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 ...
lofidevops's user avatar
  • 1,970
48 votes
3 answers
8k 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 ...
Victor Stafusa - BozoNaCadeia's user avatar
26 votes
6 answers
4k views

How can GPL terms apply to distribution of a proprietary plugin?

Let's say I develop a plugin for third-party application X. My plugin has a non-free license, and is commercially distributed. I don't distribute application X. Application X is licensed under GPL, ...
Roddy's user avatar
  • 371
18 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
6k views

Is Apple allowed to distribute GPLv3-licensed software through its iOS App Store?

This question is specifically about GPLv3, LGPLv3, and Apple's App Store for iOS devices. Given the additional restrictions Apple imposes on iOS users (i.e. not allowing them to modify and run GPLv3 ...
Tenders McChiken's user avatar
15 votes
3 answers
8k 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 ...
Soong's user avatar
  • 655
14 votes
1 answer
1k 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. Here we ...
ChrisW's user avatar
  • 339
11 votes
1 answer
839 views

Am I forced to release my project under GPL, even though no GPL source is included?

Recently I ran into a GPL license related problem and I heard many people claiming many different things. I made this post to get this cleared up for myself. Situation There is a program which is ...
sander2798's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

According to the GPL FAQ use within a company or organization is not considered distribution. What is the legal definition of a company/organization?

https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#InternalDistribution : Is making and using multiple copies within one organization or company “distribution”? No, in that case the organization is just ...
codeape's user avatar
  • 213
10 votes
1 answer
3k views

Do Contributors Own Copyright After Sending Contributions?

I have a GitHub repository which its license is GPL. Although of this, in the "about" window of my program, I mentioned that I own the copyright (like this: © My name, 2017). And I added the GPL text ...
Madno's user avatar
  • 235
9 votes
1 answer
672 views

Is it legal to charge for distributing the source of a software which uses GPLv2 components?

A device I own uses BusyBox. BusyBox is licensed under GPLv2, hence, the software in my device must have a GPLv2 license. Now, the company says they make the source code available, but for a charge, ...
Utku's user avatar
  • 193
8 votes
1 answer
285 views

If a non-GPL program is illegally linking to a GPL library, can I assume that program automatically became GPL?

I found a proprietary program which is illegally linking to a GPL library. Since the GPL states that programs which link to GPL libraries must also be GPL, does this mean that I can assume that by ...
user15767's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
3k views

Proprietary software using GPL modules

This question is based on this one: 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: A game uses a music player ...
Marked's user avatar
  • 91
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

Implications of using GPL licenced code only during testing

Let's say I'm working on a software library in which certain unit tests rely on GPL licensed code but the code that a user of this library would install on their system does not interact with GPL ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 263
7 votes
3 answers
1k views

Dynamic linking, bundling, and GPL

I have a code that is dynamically linked to a GPL library. When I distribute my code in binary form, I do not distribute it with the GPL library, and provide instruction for the user to acquire this ...
vkubicki's user avatar
  • 215
5 votes
1 answer
696 views

Can I distribute non-GPL code that uses GPL code as long as I don't distribute myself that GPL code

I have some doubts about source code re-distribution and GPL I wrote DummyLib, a library that includes AmazingLib (third-party lib, released under GPL) and links against ProprietarySDK (no source, ...
arthur's user avatar
  • 59
5 votes
1 answer
179 views

How could I copyleft a document that contains a substantial amount of both code and prose?

I am writing a document in LaTeX that contains large sections of Python code and output. Typically, I like to license my writing under CC BY-SA 4.0 and my code under GPLv3. I have already placed a CC ...
Kyle Weingartner's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
512 views

GPL Application <-> LGPL Plugin <-> Properietary code

I would like to explicitly consider possibility of having either of Fig.1: (1-A) A GPL application with dlopen-based plugin system. (1-B) LGPL plugin for application (1-A), that is linked to (1-C) (...
Alexander Tumin's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
311 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 ...
inertiablobby's user avatar

1
2 3 4 5