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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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6 votes
2 answers
639 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? ...
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11 votes
2 answers
6k 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 [...
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12 votes
3 answers
684 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 ...
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40 votes
3 answers
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 ...
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5 votes
3 answers
141 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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
78 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 ...
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22 votes
5 answers
4k 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 ...
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6 votes
1 answer
148 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 ...
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15 votes
2 answers
210 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 ...
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  • 2,149
17 votes
3 answers
257 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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
40 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 ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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? ...
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5 votes
1 answer
780 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 ...
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13 votes
2 answers
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 ...
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6 votes
2 answers
45 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?
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9 votes
3 answers
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?
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7 votes
1 answer
257 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 ...
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  • 8,415
9 votes
1 answer
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 ...
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15 votes
1 answer
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 ...
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36 votes
3 answers
26k 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 ...
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13 votes
1 answer
60 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 ...
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9 votes
2 answers
97 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 ...
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  • 2,149
10 votes
1 answer
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 ...
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10 votes
2 answers
763 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 ...
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14 votes
2 answers
96 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/...
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  • 395
20 votes
2 answers
325 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 ...
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  • 2,149
10 votes
1 answer
121 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 ...
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  • 1,555
20 votes
1 answer
573 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 ...
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26 votes
4 answers
808 views

What happens if I share code online without any licence declaration?

What will the licence of the code be? If this is jurisdiction / country based what is relevant in this case? The place of origin of the poster, the host where the code lives, or the one who tries to ...
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  • 725
19 votes
4 answers
3k views

Can I create my own license by modifying an existing one?

I'm taking the following Stack Overflow question and its answers into consideration: Can you create your one software license? My question here however is not creating a completely new license from ...
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3 votes
2 answers
72 views

What licenses can be used for open source projects? [closed]

I really don't know much about licensing. All I know is there are a hell of a lot of licenses out there. I suppose there are so many, because each one exists for a specific use. Is there a list of ...
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  • 149
15 votes
1 answer
476 views

Can I open source my music which includes copyrighted sound effects?

If I compose a piece of music using instruments and sound effects that I don't own the copyright to (but am licensed to use), can I release my composition under a free/open license that allows ...
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  • 8,415
31 votes
3 answers
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 ...
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22 votes
3 answers
346 views

For what reasons should you make the user agree to a FOSS licence during installation?

Most Windows installers for FOSS software make the user agree to the licence during installation: there'll be a page where the text is shown and a little tick box, you must have seen it before. But ...
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9 votes
4 answers
2k views

How can I determine if some code I want to release as opensource is already licensed or proprietary?

Is there a way to analyze my code I want to release as opensource to see if it is / or has parts that are already licensed or proprietary?
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37 votes
3 answers
3k 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 ...
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  • 515
8 votes
4 answers
85 views

Legal pitfalls when (re)selling OS solutions?

What legal pitfalls should be considered when (re)selling OS bases solutions? As you can't ask any fee for the Open Source code itself this seems a sensitive area to me.
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  • 447
23 votes
2 answers
446 views

Is OSI approval important for a license?

I've heard an open source license described as "popular and OSI-approved". To that, someone asks: Is OSI approval important? which is a great — and important — question in its own right. So, is ...
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  • 662
9 votes
3 answers
230 views

How does one enforce aspects of a license?

I've been provided a SourceMod plugin for a community game server. I was provided the compiled plugin, but not the source code. The license and explanation provided describes all SourceMod plugins as ...
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  • 708
19 votes
2 answers
956 views

Can I restrict who can utilize my software?

Can a project be licensed as "open source", yet place a restriction on who can utilize the software? For example, if my software falls under software export controls, can I continue to license it as "...
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  • 708
85 votes
5 answers
11k views

How can a project be relicensed?

I've found out that the license I picked for my project does not quite do what I wanted it do (bad research). Now I want to change the license. Is it as simple as changing the LICENSE.txt in the root?...
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15 votes
1 answer
237 views

What license must I use on a commercial version of an open source project?

Suppose I have published a project under the Apache 2.0 (or similarly permissive license). Internally I have another version of the same project, which provides significantly extended functionality ...
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