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Questions tagged [law]

For questions about the legal aspects of open source. Questions asking for legal advice are off-topic. You should consider mentioning the relevant legal jurisdiction in your question.

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How much of a given work of software can be claimed under fair use? [closed]

I've found that my most recent project has been taking a significant portion code from a GNU GPL code base. While i’m aware that the nature of copyright law allows for such usage, I’m unclear about ...
tuskiomi's user avatar
  • 151
3 votes
2 answers
140 views

Dual-licensing standard verbiage for “sublicensable OR”?

Background I want to distribute my code simultaneously under multiple open-source licenses, so that consumers who have problems with one license might rest easy in the terms of another. I've currently ...
JamesTheAwesomeDude's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
96 views

ML model license in contradiction to that of dataset

How can a machine learning model have a less restrictive license than the database it was trained on? I know there was a similar question to this here, but I want to ask more specifically. I was ...
mcjeb's user avatar
  • 33
3 votes
2 answers
191 views

What counts as 'network interaction' when using AGPL-licensed software?

I am developing some software that utilises an AGPL-licensed library. This software will produce two outputs: PDFs that will later be sent to users over a network. A data feed that is sent to a ...
Venture9's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
2k views

Can someone other than the original author contribute downstream changes to an upstream repo?

Let's say we have repo A with a copyleft license like GPL. Let's say someone forks repo A to repo B and creates some modifications. Let's say the owner of B had no intention of contributing their ...
micahmo's user avatar
  • 83
5 votes
2 answers
3k views

"Pure Copyleft" Software Licenses? (with no additional restrictions)

TL;DR How can we replace the GPLv3 requirements of source disclosure + explicit license copy with something more subtle like "This work allows the users [...], and any derived work (recursively) ...
FxMySz's user avatar
  • 61
1 vote
0 answers
60 views

Why do some open-source licenses have a clause stating that one can't violate the law? [closed]

Example of such a clause in the Creative MLOpen RAIL-M dated August 22, 2022 used by runwayml/stable-diffusion-v1-5: You agree not to use the Model or Derivatives of the Model: In any way that ...
Franck Dernoncourt's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
319 views

Copyright a web page created from a MIT license theme?

I am confused as to how to describe a web page from a theme licensed under the MIT license that I want to modify and use for my own private commercial purposes. I do want to have the copyright on what ...
John Karkas's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
3k views

Why does the GPL not specify a jurisdiction or choice of law clause?

tl;dr version Unlike most software licenses, the GPL (at least version 3.0) does not contain a choice of law provision. Why is this, and what provisions are in place to adjudicate disputes in the ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
130 views

Does sending a link to software constitute "conveying" according to GPL?

Assume the following scenario: Alice obtains a GPL-licensed code and make modifications to it. However, she does not release the modifications to public, but instead uploads the modified code to ...
Petr's user avatar
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13 votes
1 answer
3k views

MariaDB: How can the license being held by a foundation forbid Oracle from buying MariaDB?

I was looking though : Learning MySQL and MariaDB [ Russell J.T. Dyer / O’Reilly / 2015 ] where I came across a licensing Issue. It says [ Preface Section ] : "The software license, though, is ...
Prem's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
5k views

Am I legally obliged to honor requests made outside the license file?

It's common for projects to state a particular license and then attempt to apply some caveats that remove some of the freedoms offered by that license. I'm wondering if there is any legal basis for ...
stripybadger's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
184 views

Blender addon interface with non-GPL compatible renderer through OpenGL driver using system library exception?

Why I'm making a 3D rendering addon for Blender which is GPL 2/3 code that needs to communicate with non-GPL compatible library that does the rendering. I need some of this communication to be as fast ...
hwlake's user avatar
  • 41
9 votes
3 answers
5k views

Can I make my own license? [duplicate]

I was getting frustrated because I really wanted to use a GPL Family license for a piece of software I am developing. However, some of my target audience, OS Developers, are closed source (looking at ...
IntegralPilot's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
82 views

Can I develop a video game or mod related to 3rd party artwork?

I'm developing a video game with many easter eggs and references to science, technologies, philosophy, and some movies, tv series, animated series, video games, franchises of fictional universes, ...
AivanF.'s user avatar
  • 111
5 votes
1 answer
199 views

Legality of publishing code for a stackoverflow answer as an example implementation

Consider this scenario: I was trying to implement my own version of some awkward functionality. The same functionality is implemented in at least one open source library (which allows copying). My ...
Bruce Adams's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
159 views

Is treeware GPL compatible?

I recently noticed that some projects on GitHub are "Treeware". For example https://github.com/APIDevTools/swagger-methods (originally MIT license). The README says: This package is ...
Eric Stdlib's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
461 views

FFmpeg & AAC licenses & patents

I checked every AAC- and FFmpeg-related question on the entire StackExchange and it's not yet clear to me. In my project, I provide some audio-only content, encoded in AAC, to the end users. Some ...
Peter Samokhin's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
762 views

Is it legal to "simulate" Yubikey OTP authentication with an Arduino in own product?

I found the following Github Repo that makes it possible to build your own Yubikey with an Arduino Leonardo device. https://github.com/pagong/arduino-yksim Pretty cool. However I am wondering if using ...
fpdragon's user avatar
  • 151
19 votes
4 answers
3k views

Legal wording to exempt bug fixes to open-source framework from NDA?

Attempting to hire contractors to develop code using open-source framework with Apache 2.0 license. In reviewing our legal contract, the contractors are hesitant to sign because they want to donate ...
user46688's user avatar
  • 475
10 votes
1 answer
1k views

How do I deal with authorship after a fork?

I've forked the protpy package into propy3 in order to make it usable for Python 3 users. I'm not a user of that package myself and have no clue of protein computations. However, in order to make it ...
Martin Thoma's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
48 views

License for donating software to not for profit - non exclusive [closed]

I am doing some voluntary programming work for a not for profit - and it will be far faster if I re-use several thousand lines of boilerplate code I have previously written for commercial projects ...
richp10's user avatar
  • 111
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is CC-BY-SA 3.0 compatible with Apache 2.0?

Creative Commons explicitly states that GPL3 is compatible with CC-BY-SA 3.0. However, there is no information on its compatibility with Apache 2.0. Currently, I am hosting Apache licensed content on ...
user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
103 views

Java Licensing Question

I have questions about Java licensing Well, after many court hearings with Oracle vs Google, I analyzed this topic again and I would like to ask you about a few things: Oracle was accusing Google of ...
Maniues's user avatar
  • 900
9 votes
2 answers
678 views

Does contributing to software project make it joint authorship or a collective work?

From the legal point of view there are two types of work done by multiple authors: Joint authorship - when the authors create inseparable work, and the contributions of the authors are interdependent....
anton_rh's user avatar
  • 315
0 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is using SheetJS free for commercial use?

I downloaded a version of SheetJS here https://unpkg.com/[email protected]/dist/xlsx.full.min.js It's basically a version of xlsx that allows me to export an excel document and allows me to manipulate data ...
WattMonki's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
157 views

Arduino GitHub project - what is the scope of copyright attribution and how to include it?

I'm trying to upload my project to GitHub and have questions regarding license/credit attribution. My project is an Arduino (specifically NodeMCU ESP8266) project, which mainly includes two external ...
king.k's user avatar
  • 33
0 votes
1 answer
56 views

What happens if one developer makes code developed by several people open source?

If two people work on code together, what is to stop one of them from making it open source? Is the sole impediment the risk of legal action by the other?
Brad's user avatar
  • 101
3 votes
1 answer
693 views

Licensing a library under the MPL

The Mozilla Public License 2.0 is a license that specifically allows you to include source code licensed under it, in any program without restrictions, provided users are given a copy of the MPL-...
mid_kid's user avatar
  • 167
0 votes
1 answer
474 views

When cloning a Apache project from github and that project contains a NOTICE text file - what shall I do?

In the case I want to clone a project from github that has the Apache License and that contains a NOTICE text file, what shall I do? The Apache License does contain a paragraph on what to do, but to ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 166
3 votes
1 answer
121 views

Create a new UI for an Apache 2.0 software

I'm creating a fork of a software distributed under the Apache License 2.0. This software has many components, one of them is its UI, where It's possible to find the creator's logo and other ...
Luke's user avatar
  • 31
1 vote
0 answers
29 views

Can the license of a previously distributed binary be changed? [duplicate]

Let's say I have a programme X licensed under the GPL, to which I am the sole contributor and copyright holder. I distribute the binaries for X and provide the source code online as required by the ...
user19642323's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
164 views

How Viscosity VPN integrates OpenVPN with GPL2 license?

My understanding of GPL2 license make impossible that a proprietary software like "Viscosity" could possibly include a GPL2 code like OpenVPN. But going to their page, they clearly state ...
Adrian Maire's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
858 views

Proprietary Software + GPL: A case study with OctaneRender and Blender

Background: I currently stumbled across an interesting case of a combination between a proprietary software and a GPL software, which I am trying to understand: There is the GPL software Blender - a ...
reg.cs's user avatar
  • 297
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

If a project only includes a copy of the GPL, can it be relicensed under any version?

There's a project that only includes a copy of the GNU GPLv2 accompanying it that I wish to combine with GPL-3.0-or-later code. Assume that simply including a license file applies it globally to the ...
nfitzen's user avatar
  • 73
21 votes
4 answers
3k views

Hypothetical conflict - incorrectly licensed code

There's a scenario that's been rattling around in my brain for a while. Consider the following example. Josh, at Widgets Tech, goes to the internet and finds some code (GizmoLibrary) licensed MIT, ...
Erhannis's user avatar
  • 313
4 votes
1 answer
390 views

Implications of Google v Oracle decision for GPL

What (if any) are the implications of the recent Supreme Court decision in Oracle v Google. It sets precedent that APIs are fair use. But how does this work with GPL? Specifically, imagine the ...
foxcub's user avatar
  • 143
-3 votes
2 answers
103 views

Free Office/Libre Office/Apache Office

How Free Office / Libre Office / Apache Office resembles Microsoft Office ? Did they committed a breach of copyright and cheated Microsoft Office? And, why till date, Microsoft is not taking any ...
M. I. K's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
117 views

Section 14 of GPL(v3)

Section 14 of the GPL(v3) states: Revised Versions of this License. The Free Software Foundation may publish revised and/or new versions of the GNU General Public License from time to time. Such new ...
YummyChocolate123's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
4k views

Have there been any lawsuits involving breach of open source licences?

Here in Stack Exchange we have mentioned some cases of lawsuits involving open source projects that allegedly breached patents and were sued. I'm curious, however, in the opposite case: has anyone ...
manoelpqueiroz's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
1k views

Excluding open-source contributions from work-for-hire

I'm doing contract work. I'm being asked to sign a standard (AFAICT) agreement that assigns all intellectual property I create to the employer. The context of this work is typical Python and Go ...
jmerc's user avatar
  • 101
4 votes
3 answers
2k views

Right to launch an application with FOSS license

According to Berne convention no one can copy / reproduce materials unless an author granted permissions. I thought that "open" licenses open copying / composition / distribution among ...
gavenkoa's user avatar
  • 151
1 vote
2 answers
73 views

What should I do to make my open source project legally sound?

I am currently making a small script that you use in the browser to get the current user's IP address (I use it with a WebRTC chat), and as I noticed that all popular packages that get an IP address ...
divinelemon's user avatar
16 votes
1 answer
15k views

What are the practical differences between MIT, Apache and BSD licenses?

Non-copy-left licenses are popular. AFAIK their point is mostly to protect the developers from being sued over loss of money or life (compared to no license at all). But I am neither a lawyer nor have ...
Vorac's user avatar
  • 279
2 votes
1 answer
668 views

Why Linus Torvalds and The Linux Foundation should not sue distributions for trademark infringment?

If we go to the Ubuntu website, the first reference to Linux is mid-way through the page, as can be seen in this screenshot: Here in "More than Linux", the word "Linux" is written ...
robertspierre's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
523 views

Can Ubuntu be used to make money? [duplicate]

I plan to sell course(s) on Udemy by using Ubuntu. As you predict, there will be everything what the Ubuntu has (such as screens, icons, logos, symbols, tools, softwares etc. and their use) in the ...
arastirma hesap's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
231 views

Does multi-licensing disable "use/run for any purpose" right?

It is understood from the Open Source Initiative's definition of open source that the software under the licenses here and here can be used/run for any purpose. For example, it is understood that ...
arastirma hesap's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
230 views

Are Open Source Licenses valid globally?

I found the Open Source Licenses here and here and want to know whether these are valid globally or not. For example, I am from Turkey. Are these licenses valid for me?
arastirma hesap's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is it legal to use/run open source software for any purpose?

I am planning to be a Udemy instructor to make money. As you predict, I need softwares such as OS, Hypervisor, IDE, web browser, screen video recorder, etc. That's why, I'll use/run open source ...
arastirma hesap's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
99 views

Legal aspect: active source code vs. inactive source code

Consider a case when in a software project the 3rd party source code is placed in between #if 0 ... #endif (and hence, is not compiled). How does this affect the legal aspect (ex. license selection) ...
pmor's user avatar
  • 111