Questions tagged [licensing]

Licensing refers to applying a license to an area of software. Only use this tag if your question concerns the application of a license to an area of interest. If your question concerns a specific license, use the tag that corresponds to your license. For more general questions, use this tag.

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7
votes
1answer
203 views

Are discriminatory free licenses still free?

With free licenses, one cannot restrict who or how the software is used. Suppose that I construct a license that says: If you are not Steve you are permitted to license under A; if you are Steve ...
7
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3answers
313 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 ...
7
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1answer
621 views

What license options do I have for licensing ported source code?

If, I port Ruby on Rails (licensed under MIT) from Ruby to Java what license options do I have? Would I have to use MIT or a compatible license?
6
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3answers
176 views

Commercial licence deproliferation attempts

I often run into various licenses for commercial software, and large part of that software has a different text saying the same thing. With license proliferation being a known thing in OSS, are/were ...
6
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2answers
1k views

Does the MIT license's right to “sublicense” allow me to change the license of someone else's work?

I understand that, generally speaking, you may not issue a license on a copyrighted work if you do not own the copyright to that work. Licensing is an exclusive right of the copyright holder. Instead, ...
6
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1answer
134 views

Can an interpreted program be under any license without restricted by its GPL'ed run-time environment?

If I write a run-time environment based on some GPL'ed libraries and separately write an program interpreter which is passively used by the run-time environment, can a program (which is intended to be ...
6
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1answer
524 views

I am using a MIT licensed module in a closed source project. What are my obligations?

I am using diverse module under the MIT license in my project. The project consist of a webserver, which will be closed source, commercial, and will not be distributed. As I understand the MIT ...
4
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1answer
1k views

Can I legally use code I found on a forum?

I want to write an R package and release on CRAN. But I have concerns about legal issues: licensing and authorship/ownership. Code of some functions in the package will be derived from or based on ...
4
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2answers
162 views

Under what conditions can someone dual licence existing works?

When software is diffused under an open-source licence I imagine that a project becomes the "intellectual property" of the community. However, I'm not clear about this answer in that an author agrees ...
2
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2answers
69 views

Are there any established licenses that encourage users of my projects to give back?

For my open-source projects, I have to rely on the users to send back bug reports, tell me which features they need, etc. I’d love to encourage all users to make a good-faith effort to do this via the ...
2
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1answer
91 views

Licensing LGPL software commercially

We have a mobile app software and we distribute it with LGPL v3. It uses other 2 components licensed under LGPL-v3 and MIT. For our own code, we are have the full ownership (i.e. nobody else have made ...
0
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1answer
180 views

Licensing and publicly hosting commercial software, but free for non-profit or personal use

I am developing a commercial PHP software which I will offer for free for non-profit, open source, personal usage and for self training and I want to make it open source but in the same time it is a ...
0
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2answers
104 views

Is reverse-compiled assembly considered as a valid form of “source code” in GPLv2?

My project used and modified some code from project A licensed under GPLv2 written in C. Now I was wondering that if I release my compiled binary with its reverse-compiled assembly, is it GPLv2-...
52
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5answers
26k views

Is Microsoft VS code really open source?

I have been using MS VS Code since a while now and I am I really loving it. Although the other day I was having a discussion regarding editors with my mentor where he pointed to me this. It's ...
20
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2answers
13k views

What is the point of including the MIT copyright text if you use someone's code licensed under MIT?

I'm confused as to what this license really means. Say I have a large piece of software I plan on selling and keeping closed source. It makes use of several small resources that are under the MIT ...
25
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4answers
2k views

License for code snippets?

I share small snippets of code with friends, and would like to post them online for others to use. I'm not sure of the best license? I was thinking MIT, but it includes this clause: The above ...
32
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3answers
2k views

How could using code released under CC0 infringe on the author's patents?

Creative Commons defines a CC0 license type (here's the full legal code) that claims to allow creators to release their works into the public domain by waiving "all their copyright and related rights ...
14
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3answers
3k views

Is it OK to remove the license terms for a code snippet?

A while ago, I encountered an edit suggestion on Stack Overflow. The OP had posted a snippet that was under the GPL, and included the GPL in the snippet. The editor tried to remove the GPL as it was ...
11
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1answer
1k views

Derived work of BSD licensed software, how do I indicate this?

I found a javascript module (file), which contains two functions, and I would like to modify it under the terms of its BSD license. I'm happy for the resulting source file to be declared derived work ...
11
votes
2answers
982 views

How can I license my content in a blogpost?

Let's say I have a blog post, and I want to release it under a Creative Commons license. I later publish this post to my blog. How do I apply a license to my blogpost? Do I need to state how it is ...
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 ...
15
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1answer
1k views

How do I license an open source application that uses closed source libraries?

I'm not sure if this is the right place for this question since the software I'm developing isn't completely open source, but here goes. Long story short (and for context), I'm a member of a not-for-...
10
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1answer
272 views

Does the AGPL help to protect against closed source if the application is run on a remote server and proxied by a separate service?

Note that there is this related question of which this question is by no means a duplicate. It refers to a related but separate scenario. Long question title, I'll just go with an example. Suppose I ...
10
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1answer
555 views

How to deal with licences after forking a project?

I forked a project with an MIT license on GitHub: The MIT License (MIT) Copyright (c) 2012 Some Name Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Hardware with GPL firmware

I would like to know if selling a hardware product which runs a firmware is considered as conveying that firmware. For example, if I want to use a GPLv3 library statically linked with my own code, I ...
15
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1answer
2k views

Can hardware have a license?

I was reading a previously asked question, Can I distribute related software and hardware under the same license?, and then it occurred to me that hardware might have patents. Does this mean that ...
11
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1answer
924 views

How does AGPL affect Microservices?

So if I had a microservice architecture and one of my services relied on a piece of AGPL software, and that service wasn't customer facing, but a service that communicated with it was, would I be ...
11
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3answers
4k views

What if somebody removed my name from MIT license

Case: I developed a software and uploaded it to Github with MIT license. To apply the license, I created a LICENSE file with MIT license preamble (as mentioned in choosealicense.com) Somebody cloned(...
9
votes
1answer
959 views

Why is the definition of “System Libraries” in GPLv3 phrased the way it is?

I'm curious about the definition of "System Libraries" The “System Libraries” of an executable work include anything, other than the work as a whole, that (a) is included in the normal form of ...
9
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1answer
443 views

Can I preserve exceptions in GPL 3?

GPL 3 allows adding additional clauses, such as exceptions, as long as such exceptions grant additional privileges. But if I distribute software under GPL 3 with exceptions, are those exceptions ...
8
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1answer
139 views

How to license Stack Overflow contributions as permissive as possible? [duplicate]

Important: this related Meta Stack Exchange post. Code you post on Stack Overflow is licensed "cc-by-sa 3.0 with attribution required". Now this may pose problems for people wanting to use my ...
8
votes
1answer
213 views

Licensing code on GitHub in a valid way

I'm currently developing something on GitHub. I would like to keep it open source; however I want to make sure in no way am I liable for any issues, and that my code cannot simply be copied and ...
7
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2answers
1k views

How to properly re-license code released under the MIT License?

Suppose I fork a software with 1000 files licensed under the MIT License. There's only a LICENSE file in the root of the project (no MIT License notice at the beginning of the files). Now, if I add ...
5
votes
1answer
310 views

Should the source code of the Linux drivers ported to the VMKernel be released?

As this blog entry says, although the command line interface of the ESXi server (the virtualization host platform of the VMWare vSphere) isn't derived from Linux, but it is an independently developed, ...
5
votes
1answer
113 views

Using public domain code within Apache-or-MIT licensed project

I'm interested in borrowing functions from a file in a project dual-licensed as MIT-or-UNLICENSE in my package that I intend to also be dual-licensed as Apache-or-MIT. Is this possible? How should I ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Dynamic linking LGPL library and licensing in Windows Store app

I've a project in which I would like to use an LGPL licensed library, in this case FFmpeg without changes. I've run through questions and answers regarding LGPL in commercial products with conclusion ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Is Java for server runtimes like JBoss EAP / Wildfly still free to use?

With Oracle starting to collect license fees from different customers for using Java SE I've asked myself if the usage with a server runtime is still free. I'm no lawyer and all these licenses are ...
4
votes
1answer
141 views

How to protect a web game with open-sourced code?

We (as in "a bunch of friends") are creating a text-based RPG online game. For sake of simplicity let's end it at that. We want to build it using open-source tools and technologies and we are fine ...
1
vote
1answer
352 views

Is it possible to get rich prosecuting GitHub users from a non-lincesed fork?

On the thread Half of GitHub Code Unsafe To Use (If You Want Open Source) you can find a recipe to getting rich: Post it on Github Make everyone think it's free to use. Sue everyone you can ...
11
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4answers
1k views

Remove BSD LICENSE file while importing code into GPL project

Can LICENSE file be removed from 3rd party BSD project that is merged with GPLed code? There are license headers in each file, but files will be modified, so BSD license in them will no longer be ...
11
votes
3answers
296 views

Can I apply one license to specific users and another to others?

Suppose I am a developer. I am developing a piece of software. I decide I want to make this code open source. But... I only want developers (or people that will be using the code in other projects) to ...
10
votes
1answer
89 views

Can I distribute related software and hardware under the same license?

Say I create a system similar to Arduino. I haven't yet developed much more than a basic version, and so the hardware is only compatible with the software I created, so it makes sense for them both to ...
9
votes
3answers
624 views

Will copyleft help me control what others are able to do with my code?

Given that I've written a program that I want to release as Open Source / Free Software (as defined by the OSI and the FSF), will choosing a copyleft license help me control what others are able to do ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Using the (L)GPL as an open-source hardware license?

I use the GPLv3 for my applications and the LGPLv3 for my libraries. In a similar fashion I'd like to use them for my open-source hardware projects (GPL for schematic and PCBs, LGPL for schematic ...
8
votes
1answer
210 views

Can I apply an open source license if I referenced copyright documentation during development?

I am working on python library that wraps a non-free C library. In order to develop this, I referenced the C library's copyrighted documentation. Because of that my function and variable names are the ...
8
votes
5answers
787 views

Acknowledging employer in an open source project

My employer has given me to permission to open source a component of a project that I have been working on, allowing me to retain ownership and control, with the condition that they be acknowledged in ...
8
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2answers
2k views

If the copyright-owner claims his works to be open source, do they have to release the source somewhere?

The copyright-owner can choose any license they wish to. But if they decide to choose an open source license (lets say Apache 2), how much do they have to conform to the license? Especially, do they ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

What is a class path exception?

This is a question that stems out from here: Do I have to release my code as GPL when a Java Library is GPL It seems that the Java System libraries are licensed with a class path exception. After [...
6
votes
2answers
89 views

Am I infringing copyright if I use an improperly licensed project?

While answering this question, it was pointed out to me in the comments that software that is improperly licensed (in that case, by violating another license) causes its own license to be cancelled ...
6
votes
1answer
215 views

Using GPL resource (with separate installation) with “commercial” product

I'm building a downloadable digital web product for sale. I want to use an open-source third-party library for my product. This third-party library has two licenses available: GPL Commercial I've ...