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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32
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2answers
2k views

Copyright and Contributing to an Open Source Project

I'm a little confused by copyright notices on open source projects. Let's say that a particular project is covered by a very permissive license, such as MIT or BSD. A copyright notice appears from ...
8
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2answers
251 views

When does a forked project require a license?

I haven't quite grasped the implications of forking a licensed project to public. I am assuming that a similar license should be kept, but what happens if that's not possible? Edit I am providing ...
0
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1answer
176 views

Looking for a legally-strong open source license

Most licenses available do not seem to carry any legal weight. Are there any Open Source licenses that do? The old copyright laws used to impose a monetary fine for infringement, but then how do the ...
11
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3answers
288 views

Can I open source the code and charge for the access to it?

I have some code which I would like to open source it (as part of the private repository), however the access should be limited only to the memberships who paid the access fee. Is it going to work? ...
4
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1answer
55 views

Can you open source part of a database and keep another part closed?

Suppose I had a table in a database. This table contains user profile information. Each profile has: Name, birthdate, username, mini-bio, gender. My question: Suppose I wanted to make the "mini bio"...
4
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1answer
98 views

Am I legally obligated to provide access to my open source project?

Suppose I have a peice of software that I am developing with a group of friends. Suppose we license our work under a CC license and publish it on the internet. My question: If we license our ...
17
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1answer
4k views

Why shouldn't Creative Commons licenses be used for software? [duplicate]

Suppose I was finishing up an open source software. I needed to license it under an open source license. My question: Why would I not want to license my software under a Creative Commons license? ...
9
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2answers
238 views

How to deal with unofficial/proprietary licences - are open source projects of this type really open?

Recently I was confronted with several projects that claim to be open source. I was happy to find their source code on a public repository but when looking at the license I was wondering why they do ...
5
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3answers
186 views

Can software be restricted to open source operating systems?

As can be seen from answers to this question, a piece of open source software cannot be licensed in such a way that it is only usable on one specified operating system. However, can it be licensed in ...
5
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3answers
154 views

How do I stop republication under a different license?

Suppose I am finishing an open source software. I am about to publish it but I just have to choose the license. I want it to be a CC-BY license but I don't want anyone to republish it under ANY other ...
6
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2answers
230 views

Is the BY-NC-ND license the most strict CC license for my open source project?

Suppose I am working on an open source project. I am nearly finished, and about to publish it. I would like to release it to the public so that they can learn and make their own version but I DO NOT ...
-7
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2answers
182 views

Could you apply a CC-BY license to a piece of land? [closed]

Suppose you are a land owner. You own a large piece of land containing lots of amazing fossils and other important pieces of history. To share this with the world you decide you want to allow ANYONE ...
5
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2answers
169 views

Can I Open Source a software for a particular operating system?

I am writing some software for a particular operating system, OS1. Imagine this is the most awesome software ever! I want the users of OS1 to use the software as open source and restrict all others ...
4
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2answers
103 views

Is CC-BY the least strict CC license for my open source project?

I have been working on an open source software. The software is in its final stages of testing and I will soon publish it under a CC license. I would like to release it under the least strict license (...
7
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2answers
135 views

Do I have full rights over derived works of my CC BY works?

Suppose I publish a product under a CC-BY license. Someone takes my product and remakes it into a slightly different product and publishes that under another license. Even though a version of my ...
7
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3answers
83 views

Do I need to make my users agree to a license?

Suppose I have a website. This website is an educational site and I am releasing it under [insert license here]. My question: Assuming I have the license at the bottom of the page, is there any need ...
7
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2answers
332 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,...
10
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1answer
391 views

What am I supposed to do if someone is breaking the terms of my licensed software?

What should I do if someone is breaking the terms of my licensed software? To create a small example for you, I'll take a section out of the Apache 2.0 license: You may add Your own copyright ...
25
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3answers
4k views

Do I have to offer the source of an AGPL (v3.0) licensed Web app even if I didn’t modify it?

The point of using the GNU Affero General Public License (Version 3) is that it allows "users who interact with the licensed software over a network to receive the source for that program" (FSF). ...
8
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1answer
45 views

Can I give someone specific permission?

Suppose I have a product released under some CC license. Someone comes to me and says "can I please build off of your software without giving credit?". To this I say sure! Do I need to write them a ...
7
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2answers
88 views

What prevents the community converging on a small set of licenses?

By a quick count, wikipedia lists almost fifty different open source / free software licenses. Assuming (and this may not be valid) that many of these licenses were created in the early days of the ...
6
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2answers
104 views

Could I charge people to use an open source license?

Suppose I invented a great open source license. I decided I wanted to gain money from it! my question: Is there any way I could charge people for using it? If yes, how? If no, why not, and what ...
6
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2answers
534 views

Can a license on a open source product expire?

Background: While I know that copyrights on open source products expire. I have never come across anything regarding licenses, this lead me to ask this question: My Question: Can licenses expire? ...
8
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2answers
5k 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 [...
11
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3answers
548 views

How can I start an open source project and keep people from taking it and selling it? I want to keep it free, open and never be sold

Background: Suppose I want to licence a project I have been working on for quite some time. The goals for this license are: Open Source Free to use Never to be sold Question: What license would ...
40
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3answers
1k views

Can I “Override” a licensing policy?

On many sites, especially Stack Overflow, I can't help but notice such amazing code snippets. However, they come with a "catch" designed by the author. With user contributions being licensed with the ...
5
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3answers
130 views

Should I use a permissive license if I might charge for my product later?

Background Suppose I am working on a piece of open sourced software. Suppose I am unsure whether or not I want to sell it in future versions. My question: Would using a permissive license make it ...
3
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1answer
72 views

What can I do if there is no CC ported license in my country?

Background: Suppose I am developing an open source project. I am at the stage where I need to license my software. After doing research I find out that I live in a place where there is no ported CC ...
21
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5answers
3k views

Does being open sourced mean others can use my logo?

Suppose I have created an open source application I have also created a snazzy logo to go with the application (for example, the Eclipse logo) I released my application's source code under a ...
6
votes
1answer
123 views

What is the difference between a ported and non-ported licenses?

What I know: From what I have read ported licenses are for specific locations while non-ported licenses have been customized to work in as many places as possible. Question: Even though I license ...
15
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2answers
206 views

The Stack Exchange licence: Can I post open source code here?

Stack Exchange applies CC-BY-SA to all posts. How does this interact with free or open source licences? If someone wants to ask a question about a piece of open source software can they post code ...
17
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3answers
245 views

Can I force my work to be open sourced in the future?

Is there a mechanism or service that allows me to offer my work under non-free terms, but guarantee that some time in the future, the work automatically becomes open source? For example, could I ...
2
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1answer
39 views

How do I determine if I should use a license for my writing? [closed]

I have been writing a blog for a number of years, and it occurred to me that I never released any of my writing under a license. My question is, how do I determine whether or not I should use a ...
2
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0answers
32 views

Can you make an open source piece of hardware? [duplicate]

Edited Say I was building a truck, and I wanted others to be able to help with the design. Assuming I applied a CC license to it. Could I release it as an open sourced truck? How would this work? ...
5
votes
1answer
733 views

Are Creative Commons licenses enforceable in the event of a breach?

Scenario: I am building a website with my business partner. This website is going to contain information that we do not want to be reused. To do this I am going to release it under a creative commons ...
12
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2answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
44 views

License not available [closed]

Let's say I am reading an article published under the writers own license. What do I do if the license is not available? For example the link is broken. What rules do I follow?
8
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3answers
3k views

Can I develop closed source software with an open source development environment? [closed]

Are there any legal consequences that I could encounter with? If it's possible, what should I keep a close attention to while I'm doing it?
7
votes
1answer
230 views

Can I redistribute BSD software under GPL with no changes?

If GPL and BSD code are combined in a piece of software, the entire work comes under GPL but its BSD portions can still be obtained under that license. What if the size of the GPL portion is exactly ...
9
votes
1answer
113 views

Can you apply a license to a license?

I was wondering, are there rules regarding putting a license onto a license, for example if I had a license and I applied it with a license, in many cases this would cause a loop hole. Is there any ...
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 ...
32
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3answers
21k views

What's the difference between Copyright and Licensing?

Preamble There are two other questions, specifically related to Licensing and Copyright. In reviewing the answers and comments, I get the feeling that people generally consider the two to be the ...
13
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1answer
59 views

Junkware and permission to redistribute modified versions

This article describes a problem with a particular online software hub: The download-hosting site retreated after public outcry, removing the junkware it inserted into downloads of the popular GIMP ...
9
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2answers
93 views

Are there open source licences that prevent advertising?

If code has a licence that allows sharing of modifications, is it possible to prevent it being hosted on a site that uses third party advertising? Do licences with this intent exist, or is it not ...
10
votes
1answer
120 views

When does code become my own?

I am developing a piece of software. The software is based on a piece of open source software. My question is how much must be changed / edited before I can call it my own? Also how do you classify ...
10
votes
2answers
744 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
92 views

Do we need to follow the license for CA certs?

Some OSS projects include CA certificates and claims that they are subject to a particular OSS license. For example the certificates in https://mxr.mozilla.org/mozilla/source/security/nss/lib/ckfw/...
20
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2answers
312 views

Will a dual license lock me in to a provider?

I want to use open source software for my business, and it is dual licensed. If I choose the paid license which provides support for any changes we require, will this mean that we are unable to change ...
10
votes
1answer
102 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 ...
20
votes
1answer
495 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 ...