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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375 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 ...
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1answer
660 views

Am I forced to release my project under GPL, even though no GPL source is included?

Recently I ran into a GPL license related problem and I heard many people claiming many different things. I made this post to get this cleared up for myself. Situation There is a program which is ...
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2answers
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Am I free to distribute a software for a file format that was reverse engineered?

The scenario is the following: a proprietary software can save files in its own file format. I want to build a free/open-source software capable of decoding those files for further processing. Given ...
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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 ...
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1answer
98 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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345 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 ...
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2answers
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Who will be the copyright owner of a new file in a forked repository on github?

Let's say there is a MIT Licensed repository on github, then by definition all the files that belongs to the repository is owned by the copyright holder of the repository. But if I fork the project ...
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3answers
434 views

Why use licenses? Why not release open source code to public domain?

Why do most open source projects use licenses instead of simply releasing the code into the public domain?
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4answers
2k views

Can I charge expenses for a work under CC BY-NC-SA?

I have a 3d printer that I use to print some models. There is a model I like that is licensed in Creative Commons under the Attribution - Non-Commercial - Share Alike license. I am not sure what "...
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4answers
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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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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 ...
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2answers
992 views

According to the GPL FAQ use within a company or organization is not considered distribution. What is the legal definition of a company/organization?

https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#InternalDistribution : Is making and using multiple copies within one organization or company “distribution”? No, in that case the organization is just ...
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635 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
212 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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1answer
1k views

What is the purpose of “or (at your option) any later version”? What if I don't want this?

Firstly, what is the exact purpose of the phrase "or (at your option) any later version" that usually accompanies GPL-licensed software? I get that it's supposed to be to allow future freedoms to be ...
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1answer
6k views

Pros and Cons of using MPL-2.0 license?

I want to license my project (hosted on GitHub) under MPL-2.0, which looks like a reasonable choice. But since I'm not a lawyer, it's hard to estimate long-term benefits and consequences of this ...
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2answers
2k views

How can I use an MIT license for code but protect the copyright of photos in my repository?

My project is a fork of a project that comes with the MIT license and nobody wants to change the license that applies to the software. However, some of the content that is also stored on GitHub is not ...
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1answer
363 views

Is a CLA only useful for copyleft licensed?

Is it useful to have a CLA when you e.g. use an MIT license for your project? I am just asking this, because when you use the MIT license you are already granted to sublicense it, so is a CLA ...
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1answer
120 views

Licensing a project which is still under development

As the title suggests I'm a bit confused when it comes to licencing in the middle of development. Say the following situation (for the sake of argument I'm the only contributor): I make a project ...
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1answer
491 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 ...
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2answers
235 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 ...
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1answer
977 views

Proper way of “migrating” MIT-licensed code to Apache 2.0 License

I am building a software which I plan to release with Apache 2.0 License and some components are code based from a repository released with MIT License. MIT License states: "The above copyright ...
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1answer
916 views

Including untouched LGPL library in a MIT-licenced project

Can I include a library licenced under LGPL 2.1 in an MIT-licenced project without any legal problems? Since it's not a compiled language, I would provide the full untouched source code of the ...
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1answer
2k views

License that requires attribution to end users?

I'm looking for an open source license that requires attribution to end users. Thus far, I've looked at the MIT license and Apache 2.0. But I am not convinced that they require attribution to end ...
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4answers
599 views

Did Google accidentally release Product Sans/Google Sans font in Apache License?

I found that Google uploaded Product Sans font to a repo licensed under Apache License 2.0: https://github.com/google/iosched-ios/blob/master/Source/IOsched/ProductSans-Regular.ttf Can the font file ...
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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 ...
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2answers
574 views

Licensing user-generated content

I am developing a software that is licensed AGPLv3. It's a simple tool that takes a user-provided string and generates an image based on it. What license is the generated image under? Can I choose the ...
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2answers
4k 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 ...
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3answers
252 views

Licensing Community Wiki Posts at Stack Exchange

A while back, I ask this question: Can I Override a licensing Policy? I determined that instead of stating a license on a profile page, it dual-licenses the content posted by that user, instead of ...
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245 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 ...
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2answers
8k 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 ...
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5answers
867 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 ...
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4answers
1k views

Does physically removing GPL code relieve combined work from GPL publication requirements?

Here's the scenario. Alice crafted a compression library and published it under GPL. Bob crafted a font processing library which uses pieces of code from Alice's library and ... let's call it overly ...
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3answers
230 views

What methods could you use to prevent broken licensing links?

Suppose you have an open source piece of software. You decide you want to publish the software under an open source license. You spend time researching licenses online and finally you find the perfect ...
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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?
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1answer
717 views

Is it common to licence blog posts under Creative Commons?

I plan on writing a personal blog, which will be mostly about software development topics. It's going to be implemented as a Github Pages blog on my own custom domain. I am debating whether I should ...
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1answer
96 views

Do any open source licenses cover outbound internet connections/data sharing?

I have built a software tool that recognizes text from images of handwriting. I want to make the code public under a permissive license (like Apache 2.0), but with the stipulation that all ...
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1answer
335 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
3k views

Do programmers use licenses properly?

First of all you need to know, that I've made a research on Internet and I've read dozens of topics. Moreover I asked another programmers about this issue. I still don't know what to do. The problem ...
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2answers
2k 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, ...
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1answer
738 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?
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1answer
144 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 ...
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4answers
82 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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1answer
578 views

Creative Commons: Unported vs. Generic vs. International etc

I'm a big user of Creative Common licenses and I often used https://creativecommons.org/choose/ in the past to find the right license to use. However, I now see many suffixes for CC Attribution ...
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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 [...
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1answer
2k views

What are the ZFS patents and when do they expire?

One of the "big deals" in FreeBSD these days is ZFS. The issue is that ZFS is under a non-compatible license and has patents preventing clean-room re-implementation. My question is for how much ...
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1answer
191 views

GPL library in an open source plugin in an open source application using a commercial plugin

I have developed an application, a commercial plugin, and an open source plugin, each part distributed separately. The application dynamically loads each plugin, and function calls are bidirectional. ...

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