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.

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5
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2answers
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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 ...
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2answers
4k 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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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3answers
2k 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 ...
24
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2answers
5k 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
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1answer
739 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 ...
7
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1answer
1k 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 ...
20
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2answers
3k 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 ...
16
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1answer
2k 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 ...
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8answers
46k 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
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1answer
518 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
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2answers
173 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 ...
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1answer
67 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
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2answers
1k 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 ...
7
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2answers
345 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. ...
22
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4answers
1k 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 ...
15
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2answers
881 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
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2answers
1k 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
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1answer
1k 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
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2answers
966 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?
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3answers
685 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
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2answers
1k 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
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3answers
1k 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 ...
7
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2answers
304 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,...
15
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2answers
3k 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 ...
31
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7answers
11k 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
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2answers
728 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
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1answer
421 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
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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 ...
31
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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 ...
4
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1answer
232 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
4k 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
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4answers
2k 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?

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