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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
1
vote
0answers
17 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) ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

Helvetica Neue font in iOS 14 App

Some times ago I've received a legal issue from monotype.com. They told that I was using font Helvetica Neue in my iOS app since 2015 to 2020 and now I need to pay for this font for all these years. I ...
2
votes
0answers
35 views

Webdev: Open Source font and legal issues

I use the open source font Metropolis as main font for my webpages. However, apparently there has been a legal issue with similarities to Gotham. See https://discourse.mozilla.org/t/metropolis-font-...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

If you distribute GPL-code as non-GPL, can the receiver redistribute it as GPL?

Let's say I have written a proprietary program called MyProprietaryTool. The code has clear licenses on top of each file stating that it is proprietary code. (It's Python, so the code is what will be ...
4
votes
3answers
413 views

Do major electronic voting systems use closed-source software?

I have heard that some, if not all, widely used electronic voting systems (e.g., Diebold, Sequioa, Dominion) use closed-source software. If so, how can the public be sure that a closed system isn't ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

MIT license for non-public use between two parties?

I'm looking for a license to use in a software project that is developed by two parties. The MIT license looks like a good choice because both parties have full rights and few restrictions. Both ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Can I write closed source software linked to a GPL library if I am the copyright holder?

Sorry for the rather strange question, I made a GPL library and I got a project I am making with it for someone else (alpha testing). The client wants the software that links to my library to be ...
3
votes
2answers
75 views

Using reverse-engineered closed protocol in open source software

The question is a partial derivative of this one: Someone open-sourced an un-open-source project Here is the situation: There is a device and a proprietary software to manage that device. They are ...
2
votes
1answer
83 views

Could reusing a project name as part of my own get me into trouble?

I'm thinking about releasing an extension package for PyPA's Twine. I wanted to name it twine-exists, but after giving it a minute of thought, I have doubts about whether that doesn't encroach over ...
3
votes
1answer
250 views

OS license and responsibility for code modification

Let's suppose that developer D created some OS code and published it under some OS license, e.g. MIT. A company C downloaded copy of the code, modified it a bit and incorporated in its own work. ...
1
vote
2answers
297 views

Use of open-source by “bad people”

I have two questions regarding the implications of releasing something open-source and it later being used by "bad people" (terrorists, authoritarian regimes, and so on). The first is about the legal ...
2
votes
1answer
28 views

Do I need to include the licence for part of a program, which I have modified?

The X window manager dwm is designed to be customised by copying its default configuration config.def.h (which is supplied, along with the program's source code, under the MIT/X consortium licence) ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

Is it required to disclose proprietary / closed source code of commercial software which utilizes open source CDDLv1.0 libraries?

I am working on a Java server side solution utilizing open source libraries (using jars ‘as-is’) released under CDDLv1.0 license. The open source libraries is either statically or dynamically bound in ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Can AGPL code depends on closed source code

I have a closed source module (A) in odoo that it working fine without depending on anything. Now I would like to add an AGPL module(B) and integrate it with the module (A). So, I am planning to ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

Clarification on using FFmpeg in an open source app

Can someone please clarify the legality of bundling and using the full version of FFmpeg (with included libx264 and libx265 and other gpl codecs) in an open source app. I don't want to modify ...
3
votes
0answers
52 views

Legal Status of SPDX Headers

My first ever question... Within the (excellent) GNURadio Project the source code (example here) generally features a header declaring the copyright holder, the project that the file is part of and ...
2
votes
0answers
25 views

Can I use a license with a warranty disclaimer when my country's laws make that inapplicable? [duplicate]

I'm studying Computer Science in Germany. Even before the beginning of my studies, I wrote some software in order to learn how to write good code (and in order to have fun, too :-) ). Now, I'd like to ...
10
votes
2answers
349 views

Is it legal to remove a dependency with a copyleft license from a proprietary project?

Imagine you have a proprietary project (non open source), and by mistake you added a dependency to a library with a strong copyleft license. You have already distributed your code. And you realize ...
4
votes
1answer
65 views

Legally, is getting a js file from a server the same as installing npm package?

I'm working on a (most possibly) proprietary front-end React app for my company. We use this npm package as a plugin for TinyMce editor. Turns out, it has GPL v3 license, which isn't allowed as per ...
4
votes
1answer
112 views

Using Oracle VirtualBox Base Package for Commercial Applications

The VirtualBox Base Package is licensed under the GNU General Public License, version 2. My company is distributing software that runs on an Ubuntu system within a VirtualBox VM. We have not modified ...
1
vote
0answers
115 views

How can I deploy an open source web app that hosts user data?

I'm thinking about developing an open-source web application where users can enter trips that they have done (touristic or commuting) and then view statistics and maps created from this data. From the ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

Am I personally liable if user data from an open source web application is stolen?

I'm thinking about developing an open-source web application where users can enter trips that they have done (touristic or commuting) and then view statistics and maps created from this data. If I ...
2
votes
1answer
49 views

LGPL v3.0 and how it relates to wkhtmltopdf in a SAAS scenario: what are our obligations?

We would like to use this library https://github.com/SebastiaanKlippert/go-wkhtmltopdf to generate PDFs from HTML. That library is licensed under MIT. It is really nothing more than a wrapper for the ...
1
vote
1answer
117 views

Copyright of modifications and derivative works of Python License 2 licensed software

I am writing a Python package in which I plan to vendorize a modified copy of part of another package that was released under Python License 2 (it is not part of the PSL and not subject to any other ...
2
votes
1answer
97 views

Community and enterprise editions of LGPL software

Red Hat has community and enterprise editions of it's application server. WildFly is licensed under LGPL. JBoss EAP is based on WildFly and costs a lot of money. How is it possible that they don't ...
1
vote
0answers
28 views

Contract templates for open source work [closed]

Are there published templates or guidelines for contract terms for engagements where the deliverable is new open source software or an enhancement to existing open source software? I have some of my ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

Can I use MPL-2 for not being held responsible for software bugs?

I just started my career as an online freelancer and even though I try to do my best I have this constant stress & anxiety about what will happen if there is a huge unwanted issue/bug in my code ...
3
votes
2answers
175 views

Are there any hybrid open-source/proprietary software licenses and business models?

Does licensing and ownership of software and intellectual property work on a spectrum of extremes and in-between nuances, or is it an "either this or that" decision? Let me give concrete examples ...
4
votes
1answer
149 views

Can someone else patent an invention that I have introduced in my open source project?

Is open source protected in any way if I haven't filed for a patent myself? Maybe a specific license? Any examples of open source projects that introduced 'inventions' that could be patented (but they ...
-2
votes
2answers
203 views

Technically posible to prohibit closed source drivers with Linux?

Would it be technically (legally) possible for the Linux kernel developers to create a new license (similar to GPLv2) but different in the sense that hardware manufacturers are prohibited from ...
3
votes
1answer
109 views

Do Amazon AppStore terms allow for GPL software?

The terms for the Apple AppStore have been shown to conflict with the GNU GPL in such a way as to prevent GPL apps from being in the store — see this question. Are the Amazon AppStore (the standard ...
4
votes
1answer
223 views

Do permissive or copyleft licenses have a limited term based on US copyright law?

If you write a book, the copyright for that work is protected for a long time, but the work will eventually enter the public domain under US copyright law. Does the same thing apply to pieces of ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

Sharing machine learning models of a confidential dataset

Please share me your thoughts about using machine learning models from confidential datasets. For example, I have a classification model I trained using sklearn. In general, can I use the model for ...
7
votes
1answer
136 views

Is there a legal definintion of a file?

The MIT, GPL, and Apache Licenses all make references to "files". Here are example of such references: (all emphasis added) MIT: Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person ...
3
votes
1answer
73 views

GNU General Public License version 2 on a game image resource

I am creating a commercial game, with most resources using CC-BY-xx licences for graphics, sound etc. I have found some graphics that i want to add to my game. However, these graphics are licensed as "...
10
votes
1answer
171 views

Accidently commited plagiarism, what now?

I maintain an open-source project. Somebody made a pull-request two days ago, and I accepted it. Now I realized, that a large portion of the pull-request is just a copy-pasted from another project (...
4
votes
1answer
321 views

How do I detect an AGPL violation?

For client side code, even if it is obfuscated or is just a binary, I can imagine there might be ways of doing this, but if I have some server-side AGPL licensed code, how am I supposed to know that ...
5
votes
2answers
328 views

Is there a good license for a libertarian programmer who's against intellectual property?

I know, I know, you're probably thinking CC0 or WTFPL or something along those lines. But the thing is, the way I see it, people have a right to redistribute anything, even if the author doesn't want ...
7
votes
2answers
214 views

Offering exceptions to the GNU GPL as an employee

I find myself in the following situation; I have a software project under GPL license, which is a good fit for usage in the company I am currently employed at. Now I am happy to dual license it to ...
2
votes
1answer
185 views

Legality of open hardware vs. patents

While much discussion is there around software patents (because sometimes it's just maybe a creative idea), how does maker community position themselves to existing patents? In other words, is high ...
28
votes
7answers
4k views

Embedding GPL code in proprietary software

Here's a tricky situation that I didn't encounter before: My company embeds a piece of slightly modified GPLv3 code into their otherwise proprietary application. They don't link a library or ...
1
vote
1answer
109 views

Can you make GPL-licensed software using the Tizen SDK?

Unfortunately, Tizen has a proprietary SDK, as discussed here, which mandates that: You may not use any component part of the Tizen SDK in any way independent from the Tizen SDK. You may not load ...
4
votes
1answer
602 views

Why GitHub is not opensource when it's use Git that has GPLv2 license?

I have this question after what happened when Microsoft bought GitHub. But GitHub core is not git? I know that when you use a GPLv2 in your program you must have to give your program the same license. ...
2
votes
2answers
182 views

Can a gap in a license coverage on a VCS be exploited?

Consider this: I have a repository on, for example, GitHub, and add a file I wrote. I forget to mention the file in the license, and publish the updated version to the repository, realizing the ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

Can we mention possible users without their permission?

I've created many open source projects under MIT license. Due to the inquiries I receive, stargazers, and direct communication with the people who are using them, I know many big companies who are ...
3
votes
1answer
177 views

Statements on GDPR with respect to FOSS

The General Data Protection Regulation that is about to come into effect in the EU appears to impose requirements to (among others) anyone who runs a website of public interest. As some of these ...
3
votes
1answer
166 views

Buying a license to public domain software (where PD is recognized)?

Are there ever any practical reasons for purchasing an explicit license to "public-domain" software, assuming both the software developer and the user reside in jurisdictions where the public domain ...
1
vote
1answer
148 views

Open source crypto project liability

I'm working on a crypto wallet for a top 50 cryptocurrency. I'm part of the core team and we were discussing potential liability around the app we're building. The user always has their wallet seed ...
1
vote
1answer
416 views

Do I need to provide additional disclaimers when releasing code related to taxes?

I wrote a few scripts to help with doing my US Federal taxes this year. To do things like estimating sales tax and parsing information from 1099 forms. I wanted to post this code on GitHub in case ...
2
votes
2answers
129 views

Is it legal to release an old commercial software as free software?

A group of friends and I are discussing founding a startup where the products would be commercial software. One the most important aspects that in our opinion we should put in any legal agreement is ...