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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1answer
60 views

Debian packaging … is licensed under the GPL version 3 in copyrights file

On Ubuntu I see for many packages copyright file under /usr/share/doc/%PKG_NAME%/. In the file of some of those packages, I see the following at the end of the file (protobuf, which looks like BSD (...
3
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1answer
142 views

Can I be accused of using MIT library in my codebase that internally depends on library not compatible with MIT?

In general, when I make my code dependent on library, do I have to check its dependencies licenses or library license is the only one to be checked on my side? Can I be assused of using MIT library ...
4
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1answer
80 views

What does it mean to say two licenses are compatible?

If license A is compatible with license B, does it mean that one can combine code from those two and should be able to release combination under license B? or Is it just symmetric like 'A is ...
7
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1answer
706 views

Difference between MongoDB SSPL and GNU AGPL

I'm trying to understand the difference between the SSPL and the GNU AGPL license, after reading the terms of SSPL. The 13th clause of the license states the following: If you make the ...
4
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2answers
97 views

Alternative implementation of an LGPL library

Is it possible to write alternative implementation of a library which is covered under LGPL 2.1 and keeping the same API ? The alternative implementation will be in the closed source.
3
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2answers
273 views

Can a closed-source software be free

I saw some closed-source software (for Windows), which license explicitly allows to do everything with it, including disassembling, decompiling and modification, but no source is distributed, though ...
0
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1answer
51 views

What is really accepted as an open source project for GPLv3?

Let's say I want to use a Javascript component that is under the GPLv3 license. That forces me to license my product under an open source license compatible with GPLv3. So, let's say I have an ...
1
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2answers
232 views

Is it legal to fork “gpl 2 or later” software and make “gpl 2 only” changes

I've found interesting open source project (mostly dead now) and I would like to fork it, fix some bugs and use it. The project is licensed under "gpl 2 or later", however I'm not big fan of "gpl 3", ...
9
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2answers
606 views

Is the Maximum Use License for Everybody (MULE) a FOSS license?

I encountered an obscure software license called the Maximum Use License for Everybody (MULE). (I have used text from version 4 below, but my concerns also apply to version 3.) The license first ...
14
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4answers
2k views

When distributing a Linux kernel driver as source code, what's the difference between Proprietary and GPL license?

The company I work for is selling PCIe cards. I'm writing the Linux driver for it as a Linux kernel module. When selling these PCIe cards, we give along the Linux kernel driver as source code. ...
1
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2answers
98 views

What widely available software license is appropriate if I want to freely distribute but keep my own right to sell?

Edit: This was originally posted in law.stackexchange and was moved here with no input from me. I'm well aware that most Open Source advocates argue against any license that restricts others from ...
1
vote
1answer
325 views

Why is the Apache license 2.0 patent license clause useful/important?

I've read the Apache 2.0 license (A2L), in particular its clause regarding patent licensing. I don't quite understand what's the use of it. If Alice lets Bob use a piece of software under the terms ...
5
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1answer
125 views

Final product warranty vs MIT licensed FreeRTOS warranty disclaimer

I want to base my embedded project on FreeRTOS, modify the original source code of FreeRTOS (strip some functionality, remove some unused code, increase reliability), write my application specific ...
3
votes
1answer
68 views

How should I identify myself in a copyright notice / license?

(migrated from programmers.SX) I'm placing a copyright notice with some (FOSS) license in a LICENSE file in a software package I'm publishing; or it's a license block in a source file. It starts ...
3
votes
1answer
41 views

Embedding code using API of GPL library in tutorial website

I want to make a commercial tutorial website that will teach people to use GPL-licensed R packages in a series of articles. The website will not execute the code, but will show people the output of ...
3
votes
1answer
96 views

Someone is offering money to use my software without a license. Is it a scam?

I am the creator of an open source project licensed under MIT and GPL. Recently, someone has reached out saying that these licenses do not fit their needs, and that they would like to pay me to be ...
2
votes
2answers
85 views

Classifying Commercial and non commercial use

We intend to use openrules in an application that will be deployed and used in house by an insurance firm. The application caters to internal users to check whether certain business conditions are met ...
3
votes
2answers
256 views

Is flyway community edition free for commercial purposes

I am writing an application for my organization which needs to be shipped to customer. It has a part of database migration for which I am using flyway library. However I am confused with licensing. ...
3
votes
1answer
81 views

User account licenses, in an AGPL SaaS app

Can I build & release an AGPL (v3) SaaS application, but still put constraints on the usage of user accounts in that application? I like to: Provide a hosted version of the service Provide the ...
2
votes
1answer
185 views

Can your MIT library use an LGPL library?

If you use a library with LGPL 2.1 license (e.g., PHPMailer) in your also open source library, can you release your library as MIT license if you didn't actually modify PHPMailer? E.g., All you did ...
2
votes
1answer
147 views

What is the license of code found in ObservableHQ?

What is the license of code found in ObservableHQ, for example this one? I really tried reading The Observable Terms of Service but I couldn't get a conclusive answer by myself. The following ...
-2
votes
1answer
121 views

What entities are eligible to copyright a project?

Me and my friend want to make business on customization of our open source project. We have NOT yet registered the project trademark NOR started a company. Сan we write in Copyright 2019 [name of ...
-1
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1answer
41 views

Can I share the code JUST with my client in BSD License?

I am wondering if I can use a license like BSD in the code of a software I am making for a client. They are not a software company so I don't think they want an exclusive use, but I want to give them ...
-1
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1answer
65 views

License to acknowledge the initiative work

In case someone makes a product based on my open source project, I'd like to have them to acknowledge my project with: "Powered by <MyProject>[link_on_Github]" Is there a license similar to MIT,...
7
votes
1answer
907 views

How to properly assemble NOTICE file for new software under Apache License 2.0

Apache provides NOTICE boilerplate for a new software projects which are going to be released under this license. I'm going to release my project under that license, so it actually doesn't contain any ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Archive Formats and Licensing

A number of archive formats such as DAR, AR, tar come under the GNU GPL license. If I understand correctly I only need to license my software as GPL if I use any APIs provided by libraries which ...
3
votes
1answer
49 views

Distributing the Copyright Notices of Libraries with Binary Software

I'm working on a piece of open source software that's distributed as a binary in a Docker container. Thus, most of the users of the software not only do not interact with the source, they do not even ...
2
votes
1answer
32 views

Can I include the Ubuntu Fonts in a proprietary application?

I am creating a desktop application that has the ability to generate PDF reports. I would like to use ubuntu font because it has wide language support. I do not plan to modify the font file in any way....
2
votes
1answer
35 views

What am I supposed to do with the license, in case of a third party project modification?

I'm making some modifications to this project licensed under MIT License. The thing is: I don't know what to do to their license file. Do I just override with my stuff?!
1
vote
1answer
61 views

Right licenses for software: free use but ask for permission when economical profit [duplicate]

We have developed some software and we want to provide with the source code and binaries to the academic and industry community, so that they can freely use it. But if anybody wants to make commercial ...
3
votes
1answer
303 views

Can I include license text in my project's README and not add a license file?

When I add a license to a software project I place the text of the license in a file named LICENSE.md in the root of the repository. Now I want to include the license text in the README.md instead ...
1
vote
1answer
141 views

How does share-alike play with commercial use?

I'd like to know how a licence can both allow commercial use and be share-alike. My reasoning is as follow : If we use it in a product (which is authorized by the "commercial use" part), we have to ...
0
votes
2answers
78 views

Open-source project and assets

There is open-source project under GPL 3 hosted on GitHub. The project contains source code and assets (images, sounds etc.). Can I legally use only assets (without soruce code) for custom, commercial ...
1
vote
1answer
140 views

Is using LGPL 1.2 or EPL 1.0 licensed jar allowed in proprietary software in Docker?

I am creating a proprietary java application which uses some open source jars licensed with LGPL 2.1 or EPL 1.0. I am deploying the application in docker container with all jars inside it. Is there ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

License a single Line of Code / Hypothetical Question

I was wondering what requirements must be met if you want to License Code, if you take this Simple Code for example: int main() { int x = 0; return 0; } Could one Hypothetically License this ...
3
votes
1answer
50 views

How to distribute third-party open source components?

When using an open source component (say, licensed under CDDL), we are required to distribute the source code for any components directly derived from the component. Is it acceptable to just provide a ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

Compatibility of RPL (Reciprocal Public License) with other licenses

I have found a library that I would like to use in my project "as-is", but it is licensed under the Reciprocal Public License. As far as I understand it, you have to make your source code using that ...
4
votes
2answers
107 views

Preventing a company in GPLv2 license

Is it possible to prevent a specific company or specific employee in that company from using an open-source project that uses GPLv2 license? To give more details, the project is based on another open-...
4
votes
2answers
599 views

What “non-commercial” license is that?

I have found the following license: Copyright (c) [year] [name] Please read carefully the following terms and conditions and any accompanying documentation before you download and/or use this ...
4
votes
1answer
35 views

How to announce data entered in a survey might be distributed under the ODbL?

I'm making a survey using Google Forms. I plan (if I can find time) to distribute the dataset (or possibly a sanitized, trimmed, and if needed anonymized version of the data) under the Open Database ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the correct way to add license information to source code?

I have recently released some projects on GitHub and its catching people's attention(I had released earlier too but they were just for learning and didn't carry much weight). But I think I made a ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

What is it called when a project is released under several different licenses simultaneously?

Sometimes, perhaps due to code's history, a project is released under several different licenses at the same time. An example of this is ranges-v3. What is the name for this practise? To be clear I'...
0
votes
1answer
95 views

What is the meaning of the term “company” in MS-RSL?

MS-RSL contains multiple references to the term "company", e.g.: "Reference use" means use of the software within your company as a reference, in read only form, for the sole purposes of debugging ...
-1
votes
1answer
82 views

Does license change on images has retroactive effect?

Say I have images in my WordPress theme that I got from Unsplash or Pexels a year or so ago, when their license was more permissive (GPL compatible). Fast forward to today: their licenses changed. ...
-1
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1answer
50 views

Embedded Open Source Software

For permissive open source licenses, for example Apache 2.0, is it sufficient to include a readable copy of the license.txt/NOTICE/attribution file with the object code in the memory of the device? Or,...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

FPDF & GPLv2 & distributing changed code

Whipped up some demo code for a proof of concept I needed. Used FPDM which states as its license "FPDF". The FPDF license seems Free to me - Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any ...
0
votes
2answers
103 views

How to get people to contribute to my open source project instead of copying it?

I have a project that I worked alot on it, and now I'm thinking of asking people to contribute to it, but my concern is that people will take my existing code and do whatever they want with it(modify ...
0
votes
1answer
142 views

License - register software that using JNA library

I have created a program which uses the JNA (JAVA Native Access) library. Now, I would like to register it under some software license (I have not yet decided which), my question is: Can I register ...
3
votes
2answers
387 views

Using a tool under GPL v2 in a commercial application

I have read many articles on GPL v2 licensing and I understand the main idea - when one uses a library or piece of software that is GPL-based, then the software, generally speaking, must become GPL as ...
2
votes
3answers
523 views

Conditions on binaries incorporating BSD 3-clause licensed code

I have developed a software that uses (is statically linked to) code licensed under BSD 3-clause license. Just reading the license terms, it seems to me that I'm obliged to allow any one who I sell (...